Hay-on-Wye – The city of books
Perhaps you imagined what is like to have one room in the house “dusted” on books… a room with walls made up of books to flee whenever you feel the need to take a break. Well, in Great Britain there is a place dedicated to books, and this is not a room, but an entire city.
Hay-on-Wye is what might be called a Mecca for lovers of books, whose history of “bookish city” began in 1977, with Fool’s Day, when, by a bold move to promote, bibliophile Richard Booth proclaimed independence of Hay-on-Wye’s as the realm of books, saying that is a monarch. Since then, the British managed to lay the foundation for a healthy tourist industry based on books and thousands of people began to regularly visit Hay-on-Wye, looking for different titles.
Before courageous movement of “monarch” was a dying city with more than 2,000 people, without any real economic or notable local business. “The king of second hand books” has opened its first library in 1961 and, in a relatively small time interval, each building filled with books available, among them an old shop, a chapel and even Hay Castle.
City business records an annual turnover of over one million books and, unlike other entrepreneurs with similar interests, Richard Booth does not look at titles and topics treated, he buy any books, under the belief that everyone who has value and is required at least to a person in the world.
The flow of bibliophiles from around the world is very high because the books are many, and at low prices. No less than 10% of current population of the city is working in business bookish, the remaining locals businesses benefiting from the waves of tourists who come here in search of reading material.