Described as the book shop with the best view in the world, Kalk Bay Books is a gathering place for locals and visitors alike, who browse and buy books, share a glass of wine or two with visiting authors, and gather for new book launches or discussions. The leather sofa invites customers to spend some time considering the books on offer, and to catch up on international book news with the New York Review of Books and other reading matter provided for their interest.
Today, instead of tall tales being told around the bar counter, tales are sold at a shop counter, which was specially designed with a nod to the history of the building. Kalk Bay Books occupies premises that have a varied and interesting history. As recorded by author and historian Michael Walker in Kalk Bay: An Historical Booklet and Walk (Kalk Bay Historical Society), the building that now houses the bookshop was originally known as Die Klipkantienjie and was designed by architect John Parker in 1913.
'The saloon and public bar formed part of an overall extension to the Old Masonic Hotel. Beside die Klipkantientjie, this single-storey extension had seven bedrooms, a storeroom and a large billiard roon, and was in fact larger than the Masonic Hotel. After the Masonic Hotel was demolished in 1916 the extensions became knows as The Annex to the Kalk Bay Hotel, which was later renamed the Majestic Hotel. The external façade of The Annex has changed little since Parker’s design of 1913.’
Need to know? Winter trading May - September: 9am to 5pm
Summer trading October - April: Monday to Sunday 9am to 6pm
Peak summer season 16 - 31 December: 8am to 7pm
Christmas Eve: 8am to 9pm
(Closed: 25 & 26 December, 1 January)
If getting to the book shop is a problem, you can browse their online books selection, which includes hand-selected fiction and non-fiction books, and many book lists offering their suggestions on a wide range of themes in the Open Books section of the website.
Kalk Bay Books Map
* We rely on Google's mapping service, and the location information supplied to
us to show street view images. Please use street view as a guide only as we cannot
guarantee its accuracy.
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling