Fifteen Days Out in South Wales – Hay

As a library junkie I like second-hand bookshops because it’s the closest a bookshop can get to a library.

Hay-On-Wye is the world capital of second-hand bookshops so of course I found myself at home. The idea of turning rural Hay-On-Wye into a book town came to Richard Booth during the Seventies. The proclamation of an independent kingdom and the twinning with Timbuktu followed.

I must confess I also appreciate it being a Kindle-Free-Zone, I know it sounds rather luddite, but I work in IT and I really need a holiday away from technology from time to time.

Anyway, my favourite shops are Addyman Books, which features a sci-fi zone, and Mostly Maps where I must have spent most of the morning. Of course I enjoyed the outdoor shelves, especially when guarded by a resident cat.


I got a two-century old, hand-pained map of Carleon (I love the river Usk), an WWI RAF aviation map for my pilot father, a 1978 Penguin copy of Tarka the Otter and a 1981 Granada Brave New World.

Long live the king.

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