Skip to content
The Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye is a small market town and community. It has the largest private collection of books in the world.
Called the “Town of Books,” the town is home to over 40 independent bookstores lining the village on the English border.
It all started in 1961, when Richard Booth opened his first second-hand bookshop in an old fire station.
After hearing that American libraries were shutting down, Booth traveled across the pond and bought as many books as he could to ship home.
His collection of used books for sale became massive, and other booksellers soon followed suit.
The result was a town that became obsessed with books.
By the 1970s, Hay was internationally known as the “Town of Books.”
Today, the town receives an estimated 500,000 tourists a year.
Described by President Clinton as the “Woodstock of the mind,” Hay-on-Wye also hosts the “Hay Festival of Literature & Arts,” bringing even more bibliophiles to town.
This place is a book lover’s heaven!