Monday, November 28, 2011


Probably the commonest questions I am asked about my blog and my website is "What is Africana ?"

and I always say(relative to books) "Any book about Southern Africa,whether old or new "

This of course covers a multitude of books ! Far more than I ever dreamed ! It is simply amazing !

I have learnt a great deal about Southern Africa,South Africa in particular by just handling the books;if only I had time to read them all.

In this blog I will try and talk about the authors and their subjects.I sincerely hope that I do reasonable justice to "Africana"

Books are bought,not only to read,but to collect, to give as gifts,and to re-sell and us booksellers do our best to satisfy those needs.

Times may be hard but books are stll great ! from all those points of view !

As the Great Bard himself could have said "Read on ! Read on ! Read on !"

Monday, October 10, 2011


What with the very cold winter up here on the Highveld and with enforced hospitalisation for a long overdue ankle joint replacement operation I have been forced to neglect my blog ! Maybe I frightened many people away with my  brief about "erotica" I would prefer to think not !
As always, despite the economy, interest in all things Southern African," Africana",continues to dominate sales and enquiries.Nothing wrong with that.Even overseas demand has increased and this is due in part to my installing "Pay Pal".
Once again, over the next few weeks.I shall be talking'Collectable Books' and I don't just mean Wilbur Smith, Lawrence Green, and T V Bulpin.For example I have just opened on my web site' direct and through "Bid or Buy"..."buy now") seperate categories for such as "Alistair MacLean" and" Alexander Kent". Many more are to come.If you would like to see a seperate listing for such as "John Grisham"," John Le Carre" or" Robert Ludlum" amongst others drop me an 'e'mail on and I will be pleased to oblige.After alll. I do have the books.  More Soon !

Friday, June 24, 2011


You may not agree with me but I feel that no book selection should be without "Erotica".It has it's place in contemporary fiction and from one who is mature enough to remember the court actions over D H Lawrence's  "Lady Chatterley's Lover" one cannot deny the right of the individual to read such literature.
I do have several books already on my shelves under this genre such as Boccaccio's "The Decameron" and Pauline Reage's "Story of O" I would be interested to hear of any suggestions or requirements for books in this category.
Incidenatally I do keep most of D H Lawrence's books in my "Classics" section !

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


This series of books written in the early 1970's by a French couple,Serge and Anne Golon,were very popular at the time,some made into swashbuckling period pieces and in recent years serialised on TV.have long fascinated collectors of a genre sometimes referred to as 'bodice rippers'.
Situated in the period of the French Revolution,the heroine Angelique had many adventures  and romantic interludes.
There are still copies of these books to be found and they are becoming more and more collectable.If the covers are intact they are very decorative.
Even younger people, not born when the books were first published, find the style and description very readable, no doubt influenced by the TV episodes.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


It always strikes me of the incongruity of grouping Conservation and Hunting together but of course they are related !
Having handled so many books on the lives of the great African hunters it comes as no surprise to me  that so many of them eventually became game wardens and contributed  so much to the preservation of animal life in Southern and Eastern Africa.They were very brave men and lived an often arduous life facing great dangers,.They did not have , in the earlier days, the high powered weapons equipped with telescopic sights and shooting from special vehicles but were generally on foot or at best on horseback armed with the rifles of the times !
I love the story of Harry Wolhuter the hunter who became the first game ranger in the original Kruger Park who was patrolling on horseback and  was attacked by two full grown lions,knocked of his horse by the lioness and then trapped face down by the lion who began to maul him.He managed to reach back for his hunting knife and stab the lion twice, killing it ! Amazing but true.Don't believe me ?  read his book, if you can find it ' Memoirs of a Game Ranger ' or read  Piet Meiring's  'Kruger Park Saga. '
We are fortunate that we have our wonderful   game reserves and owe so much to' Oom Paul' who battled for many years to get the priciple of conservation accepted and to all the hunters and game rangers who have made this a reality.
There is so much to learn and read about this subject. Long may we appreciate and protect it !

Friday, March 11, 2011


Do you know that we must have one of the greatest arrays of bird life in Southern Africa compared with most other countries in the world ?
To go with this we have a wonderful range of ornithological books on the subject,beautifully illustrated and with information about about their habits, locale and how to recognise the many and varied species.
We have many ornithologists to thank for this , particularly Kenneth Newman, a wonderful artist whose hundreds of illustrations have appeared in his many publications throughout the world..No trip to our many parks and reserves would be complete without one of his books or catalogues.We can thank also Ian Sinclair and also Sasol for their tremendous sponsorships.
For those who prefer the Afrikaans versions they come complete with even the birds names in Afrikaans.
There is no better way of introducing children to the wild life of Southern Africa particularly as birds are not confined by fences to their habitats !

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Having just read a book by Michael Parkinson on George Best there can be no doubt that he wins hands down !For me and many others this little Irish genius was the' best of the best' with the  football and the booze and the birds. For me ,who was priveleged to see him play in his heyday,there was no one who could touch him. Why is it that genius's attract such disasters that befell him .? He is quoted as having said of his fortune "I spent most of it on booze and birds,the rest I wasted !"
Read the book if you don't believe me !


How many of us can forget growing up with our children's books ! Some of us like to re- read them or better still introduce them to our children or grandchildren. My own personal memories include 'Biggles' by the redoubtable W E Johns,' Just William ' by Frank Richards and even Billy Bunter ! Even Enid Blyton (who lived a few streets away from me for many years) has really stood the test of time and I am frequently asked for copies of 'Black Beauty' by Anna Sewell which was banned in South Africa for  a while !In fact for me it is a stock line. Oh happy days !
Fortunately I have been able to find copies of these books for my readers just to illustrate that Africaner alone  is not all that I keep in stock Isn't nostalgia wonderful !

Sunday, February 27, 2011


A word of explanation for those of you new to my blog.Whilst I am not a purist in my interpretation of the term'Africana' I try and include on my web site  '' and on my blog 'dougs africana and collectable books ' as wide a selection of books about Southern Africa as I can,whether it be about this  region  or indeed written by an author from this area.What I have discovered is not only a fast growing interest in South Africa and it's surrounding countries but also an incredible number of different books and authors who fall into this category.
Of course, whilst 'Africana" accounts for a high proportion of sales I do keep many other subjects of interest to the reader and collector, both fact and fiction..
For me the greatest pleasure is finding books for people.I just wish I had more time.The demands of running a web site and a blog are considerable but it has it's rewards.By being linked to Bid or Buy not only produces orders but also supplies me with feedback from customers.People are very kind.Thank you !

Friday, February 4, 2011


Whilst there is no doubt that books on Southern Africa,what ever the subject, represent a very high proportion of second-hand books,there are many other subjects or categories that interest readers and collectors.
 One tries to keep as wide a selection of other subjects as possible but that only can cover a small proportion of the available books.What I have found encouraging is that customers are very patient and understanding particularly when using my service "doug finds books" which is free to every one.
I will gradually introduce more of the subjects and authors over the coming months which I hope you will find useful.For example I am hoping to extend the " Erotica" section having just recently added a very nice copy of " The Decameron" by Giovanni Boccaccio,complete and unexpurgated ! Illustrated by Rockwell Kent and translated by Richard Aldington.
Enquiries welcome to and more in due course.


 The biggest challenges I face whether operating my web site or my blog ,which are linked ,are overcoming the problems of adapting to the changes in procedures brought about by having the new Windows 7 installed. This has taken several weeks at the busiest time of year! However it is finally falling into place and it seems that I am now able to work on this blog which I have been unable to do for a while.