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Hay on wye visit slideshow

This is a true story... the place really exists.

There is a small village in Wales that has 1300 residents and 39 bookshops!

Hay-on-Wye, on the border between England and Wales, has the world's largest concentration of bookshops selling old and out-of-print books. Ray lives in Wales so we popped along for a visit (and to resume the lifelong ambition of drinking all the world's Stella) and took in this fantastic concept for a tourist attraction.

On arrival we parked outside The Cinema Bookshop and quickly made a beeline for the door. The shop specialises in second-hand books but does have some new remainders. Digging out the book wanted list we attacked the shelves. Much to our horror all the books where more than new prices… bearing in mind these where second-hand hardbacks that where fetching as much as £12… damn, what a downer. I must say though, they had thousands of the things so we basically ended up window-shopping in this one and hoped for better luck later on.

The next shop was even worse, although Nigel did find a first edition Horwood for £8, which seemed a good buy… however, not what we expected and things were looking a little grim. At this point Chrissi found a craft shop and disappeared… then ensued a woman hunt of epic proportions that took 30 minutes of trying to locate her several miles down the road… why you may ask… bloody good question in my opinion. Anyway, one ice-cream and a smile (women:) and we were back on course.

Next came the holy grail of book lovers everywhere… a shop with a sign in the window 'Everything a Pound'. OK, not a major thing in itself… seen it before. So Ray and Nigel take a look. This shop is full of new remainder books, all top authors… SF, fantasy, fiction… the lot. Enough to put a good city bookshop to shame. And the sign 'Ignore all prices… everything a pound' displayed above the till.

'Are you sure?' we ask… 'Yes' says a women who has obviously heard the same question 876 times before that day and is beginning to wonder if all these people buying books can actually read.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, we spent all our money in this one shop and left with over 50 books. Quick trip to the cash till, then to the pub. Basically an ideal day.

If you like books and want a nice day out, go to Hay-On-Wye.

Link - History of Hay-On-Wye -

Chrissi and Nigel - 1st June 2002

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