Thursday, 20 July 2017

'X' marks the spot

Day 11 of the journey - our heroine goes in search of buried treasure

First you need a map. Follow the directions to where ‘X’ marks the spot. Then start digging. With a bit of luck you'll unearth some booty that has been hidden away.

And so, I followed the map and now find myself in Hay-on-Wye in Powys. Hay is the National Book Town of Wales and is indeed a very bookish place. There are more than 20 designated bookshops but many other stores also include a shelf of second hand books so that there are books literally everywhere you turn. For the bibliophile it is thrilling and also mind boggling. 

There are general book shops and others which specialise. ‘Mostly Maps’ has a rather splendid cartographic gentleman in the window. ‘Murder and Mayhem’ stocks mystery and crime books inside its fiendishly decorated premises.  ‘Rose’s Books’ focus on rare and out of print children's and illustrated books. ‘The Poetry Bookshop’ sells exactly what its name suggests. The biggest and longest established general bookseller is ‘Hay Cinema Bookshop’ with over 200,000 volumes on display inside the old cinema.

So many books. And amongst all these books I hope to find one or two treasured volumes. Tomorrow morning I head back to town to start digging.

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