the Bookshops of Hay-on-Wye

stay in hay-on-wye and visit bookshops

Hay-on-Wye is internationally recognized as The Town of Books, with a riveting tale behind the title. In the 1970s local bookshop owner, Richard Booth, journeyed to America to discover an endless supply of closing-down libraries. Upon his return to the town he brought with him shipping containers filled to the brim with books. Outlets popped up all over the town, making it a Mecca for bibliophiles across the world.

In an effort to further the national profile of Hay, Richard Booth pronounced Hay an independent kingdom in 1977, self-proclaiming himself as the monarch.

With over two dozen secondhand bookshops still operational, Hay retains its notoriety and for good reason. Two festivals have spawned as a result; they celebrate literature and philosophy and bring stars of the literati from across the globe.