Get a Hartford Courant subscription for less than 29 cents per day

John Updike

South African bookshop a treasure trove of eclectic history

The only clue to a literary treasure trove tucked away in downtown Johannesburg is a fading sign, but behind this door is a fantastic maze containing an estimated 2 million books and prints.

The Collectors Treasury, a three-story bookshop owned by brothers Jonathan and Geoff Klass, is dedicated to preserving history and contains everything from VHS tapes of classic TV to porcelain trinkets, but above all books are prized.

"It is the symbol of the history of the human race," says Geoff Klass.

The collection is vast and eclectic with yellowing news clippings, posters and first editions of John Updike, Alice Walker and H.G. Wells along with Enid Blyton's...