Category / Culture

Bookshops in Woodstock Part 1: Bibliophilia

Posted on 11 February 2013 by Stefan Blank

Sjaka September searches for books in Woodstock and discovers a few treasures. 

(Sien onder vir hierdie artikel in Afrikaans) . 

Bibliofilia in Woodstock

Situated in one of those beautiful old buildings in Albert Rd. (# 48 to be precise) you will find the bookshop Bibliofilia. Not an everyday joe bookshop. No Siree! Here you’ll find the latest books on contemporary art, graphic novels, design, street art and cult fiction. All displayed on zen-like white shelves. The being responsible for this eclectic shop is an inspiring individual. Xavier Nagel – the man behind Bibliofilia says, “Books are my life, I am book crazy.”

Xavier Nagel

I met up with Xavier on a rainy Friday afternoon. Cappuccino in hand he stares over the rim of the cup with a childlike sparkle in his bright blue eyes. His beard echoes his Afrikaner farmer heritage and reminds me of the refrain from the Koos Kombuis song Boer in Beton (Farmer in Granite/the City). He draws in a deep breath of air before answering my first question.

“My Ouma taught me to read. I could read before I went to school. But the only books to read were Die Afrikaanse Kinder Ensiklopidie and the Afrikaans Bible.”

Luckily, as soon as he went to school, he was introduced to the Library which quenched his thirst for knowledge and put him on the road to discovering unforgettable reading adventures.

“From a young age they allowed me to take out more books than was allotted. Books such as Groot Verlange, Sewe dae by die Silbersteins and Somer II are some of the books that still stand out – and that’s just the Afrikaans books.”

His passion has also spilled over into publishing. He has published three children books and one cookbook. All published by his publishing company Xlibris.

“It’s only later that I realized there’s an Xlibris publishing company overseas. It was actually a word game. “X” for my name and ‘libris’ for books.”

“Who would you say are your favourite hero’s in fiction?”

“Batman and Fritz Deelman,” he answers without hesitation, “And Betty Page as heroine.”

What are your future plans?

“I would love to write a book about the life of Alex van Heerden. He sang with the Gramadoelas. Also a book for teenagers. Naturally I would like the bookshop to be a success. I would also like to make a book on South African subcultures. Especially one that features street art. Just look at the streets of Woodstock. I’m in the right place.”

 

Visit the following website to find out more about Xavier, his publishing and his Woodstock bookshop, Bibliofilia on www.bibliophilia.co.za or visit the facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bibliophilia/176597462353152?fref=ts

 

 

 

Afrikaans version

 

Geleë in een van daai ou geboutjies in Albert st. (# 48 om presies te wees) vind ons ‘n boekwinkel. Nie sommer ‘n algemene hierjy boekwinkel nie. Nee, hier word boeke oor kontemporêre kuns, graphic novels, ontwerp, straatkuns en kultus fiksie juwele met ‘n sprankel uitgestal op wit zen rakke. Die siel van die eklektiese grys teëlvloer winkeltjie is betowerend. Die man agter Bibliofilia is Xavier Nagel en na regte erken hy, “Boeke is my lewe, ek is boek befok.”

Ek ontmoet vir Xavier op ‘n tristige Vrydag middag. Cuppachino in hand loer hy oor die beker met die helder blou oe van ‘n kind. Sy netjies geskeerde baard laat hom lyk soos Koos Kombuis se boer in beton. Hy haal eers diep asem voor hy my eerste vraag beantwoord.

“My Ouma’t my leer lees. Ek kon al lees voor ek skool toe is. Maar al boeke wat daar was om te lees was Die Afrikaanse Kinder Ensiklopedieë en Die Bybel.”

Gelukkig was daar biblioteke om hierdie honger leser se dors na kennis en avontuur te les.

“Van kleins af het hul my toegelaat om meer boeke as ander kinders uit te neem. Boeke soos Groot Verlange, Sewe dae by die Silbersteins en Somer II is van die wat uitstaan – dis nou net as ons Afrikaanse boeke praat.”

Sy passie het ook oor gespoel in publiseer. Hy het al drie kinderboeke en een kookboek gepubliseer onder sy maatskappy ‘Xlibre”

“Dis eers later dat ek agtergekom het daar’s reeds ‘n oorsese Xlibre. Eintlik was dit net ‘n woord speletjie. Die ‘x’ is vir my naam, en ‘libre’ vir boeke.”

“Wat sou jy as jou gunsteling helde in fiksie beskryf?” vra ek.

“Batman en Fritz Deelman,” antwoord hy sonder om te aarsel, “ Betty Page sal ek kies as heldin.”

Hoe lyk jou planne vir die toekoms?”

“Ek sou graag ‘n boek wil skryf oor Alex van Heerden wat gesing het vir die Gramadoelas. Ook ‘n jeug roman. Natuurlik wil ek hê die boekwinkel moet ‘n sukses wees. Verder dink ek ek sou ‘n boek oor Suid-Afrikaanse subkulture wou maak, veral een wat byvoorbeeld fokus op Straat Kuns. Kyk net om jou in Woodstock. Ek’s op die regte plek.”

 

Bibliophilia in Woodstock

Besoek die volgende webtuistes om meer oor Xavier en sy Woodstock ondernemings te wete te kom: www.bibliophilia.co.za and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bibliophilia/176597462353152?fref=ts

 

 

 

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