H – Hay-on-Wye Bookstores – Wales

WELCOME to the letter H and to this year’s theme: BOOKSHOPS

Often described as the “the town of books,” – “Hay,” is a small market town and community in the historic county of Brecknockshire in Wales.
Take a minute and watch this youtube video for a visual introduction to a place where bookstores abide.            Click Here:

Here is a quote from Paul Collins’ book that I highly recommend for everyone who loves books.  Sixpence House-Lost in a town of books. “In the bookshops, you will find “in stacks, in boxes, on shelves, on slippery collapsed snowdrifts of paper, and bindings that spill out into the aisles, labeled and unlabeled, priced and unpriced, books, books, books.” 

At one time as many as forty bookshops joined 1500 residents, four groceries, 5 churches, a newsagent and one post office. Which brings me to Richard George William Pitt Booth, (born 12 September 1938), a Welsh bookseller, known for his contribution to the success of Hay-on-Wye, a center for second-hand bookselling. He is also the self-proclaimed “King of Hay”. He arrived in Hay 1962 and the rest of the story predates today’s entrepreneurial world where with an idea, creativity, and hard work, businesses are created in a place the entrepreneur wants to live. Besides Booth’s, there is The Cinema Bookshop, Mark Westwood Books, AddymanBooks, the later not a large shop, but author Paul Collins, who worked at Booth’s, says Westwood has discernable taste behind its selections of old biographies, science texts, and medical journals.Besides the bookstores along Charing Cross Road, I wish we could meet in Hay and buy books!





If you aren’t planning a trip soon to this book mecca, I will leave you with a blurb on the Sixpence House that is a wonderful armchair travel experience.  “For Anglophiles and bibliophiles alike: an entrancingly entertaining book that touches on everything to do with books: publishing, authorship, the antiquarian book business, obscure books reintroduced to a new public, and above all, the town of books: Hay-on-Wye.”


About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
This entry was posted in Ato Z Blog Challenge 2018 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to H – Hay-on-Wye Bookstores – Wales

  1. I love how these little bookshops have a story to tell. I am sure you would appreciate the book I wrote about fo G about an interesting book club the basis for WW2 story.

  2. Liam says:

    I want to go there.

  3. Amazing! Wales hasn’t been on my list of places to visit but I would love to go to a place that values books so much.

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