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Hay-on-Wye – or the City of Books””

29th July 2012

Do you like reading? Do you like books? Do you like bookstores or libraries? It is not necessary to answer ‘yes’ to enjoy a visit to Hay-on-Wye but it is more interesting if you like books and reading. Hay-on-Wye is small village located at the fringe of the famous National Park Brecon Beacons.

For 10 years there is a well known 10-day festival named “Hay Festival” with many readings, exhibitions and of course a lot to drink and eat. I talked to one of the part time workers. She went to Hay-on-Wye with some friends to work at busy festival for the second time. She likes to work at the Festival even if it is so crowded. Not only people from UK come to the festival but also people from other places in the world mainly from Europe.

But you don’t need to go to the Hay Festival to spend a good time in Hay-on-Wye there is still enough to see in general. There are more than 30 bookshops located and also cafes and galleries. In my opinion the bookshops are the main attraction. There are some shops which look like libraries and some are more like living rooms, you can see where the old furniture vanished to make room for bookshelves and book. Some people also live in their bookshops and you can see some doors between the books with the sign “private”. When you enter the bookshop which specializes in Detective Fiction, True Crime and Horror books you are not sure if the webs are part of the decoration. Be careful in shops like the Hay Cinema Bookshop or Richard Booth’s Bookshop, it is easy to get lost. In some places the shops are to small for all the books so they need to place some shelves outside.

Some of the owners are a bit afraid of the so called digital revolution and about digital books.

But you shouldn’t be afraid to visit the City of Books. Even if you think books are a bit old fashioned it is worth seeing what is special about books.

by Thorsten Fehlberg

Accreditation, Membership & Exam Centre

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