Saturday, 6 October 2012

Hay on Wye

This weekend the good lady wife and I have been lucky enough to have two whole child free days courtesy of my mam and dad. The reason that we are away is that a very good friend of ours called Sue has turned 50 and we and some of our friends have come to a converted barn on the Wales / England border in a small village called Abbey Dore to celebrate her birthday. It's quite frankly beautiful here, the barn sleeps 12, is ginagarous and has recently been totally refurbished throughout. It's dead posh.

So apart from eating far too much food and drinking far too many beers in very convivial company on Friday night, we had the chance to drive about fifteen miles up the road and visit Hay on Wye, generally known as Hay. Hay is brilliant, it's Britain's book town. Everywhere you look there are bookshops. The cinema is a bookshop, the pub is a bookshop, the greengrocer is a bookshop, even the church is a bookshop. I love it there.

I have always been of the opinion that if you need a book on almost anything, I'm willing to put money on the fact that it's probably in a bookshop in Hay. The joy of Hay is that you can lose entire days just sitting in a bookshop browsing the shelves. Then, clutching two or three volumes (new or second hand) you pay the cashier and wander across the road into a pub or coffee shop and sit with your beverage of choice (mine's a Guiness thanks) and read. Fantastic. I used to feel that going into a pub on your own and reading was a bit weird but in Hay, its actively encouraged.

Once a year there is a huge book festival called the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts. The great and the good of the literary world come to this tiny town in the west of England and talk about literature. I took a few photo's while I was wandering around with the heady scent of books pervading my nostrils and the anticipation of reading two books I know nothing about bouncing around my brain. Now, if you don't mind, I'm off for a read.

These are genuine first edition Ian Fleming Bond books. £300 each!

Groovy Bookshop.

Great name!

1 comment:

  1. I've been to Ross-on-Wye and knew about Hay but didn't visit...but with all the bookstores, that's probably a good thing, as I doubt I'd've ever left the place! (Especially a place called "Murder and Mayhem," but I might possibly not have survived the shop.) (Almost certainly, my wallet wouldn't have...) ;-)
    Mina's Resurrection Blogfest!


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