For some time, I’ve seen Hay-On-Wye ‘The Town of Books’ lurking around the internet, and being in need of driving experience (and *cough* books) I decided to venture forth to Wales.
Envisioning a land of glorious books with even more glorious prices, I found, well I found a lot of books, tourists and winding village streets.
Oh, and y’know … a castle.
[It must be noted that bookshops and castles are a heady combination that should not be allowed to intermingle for fear of an explosion of excellence.]
Hay-On-Wye has over twenty bookshops.
And also … Hay-On-Wye is twinned with Timbuktu.
All of the above is the truth.
Castles, bookshops and Timbuktu.
Strangely enough, at first I couldn’t find anything. Anything at all. Which is rather strange considering the enormous amount of choice. But I suppose it is possible to be swamped.
More wondering about. Visiting a Deli. Sending a postcard in the Post Office. People watching. Diving into another bookshop and … nothing.
And then, after a reviving snack (driving and book-dipping are hungry work, I have decided) I ventured into the magnificently named ‘Murder and Mayhem’ bookshop.
I found authors – my authors. The ones that I had been looking for. But … some of them weren’t for me just then. Others I’ve already read. (And others were dramatically named ‘Die For Love’ which is almost as bad as ‘He Fell In Love With His Wife’).
Dorothy L Sayers was there and I should have purchased one of her books. I should have. But I didn’t. So there’s that. Instead, I turned to the trusty Agatha Christie and being a penny-pincher and ‘Already-Watched-The-Film-Adaption-Of-That-And-Know-Who-Dunnit’ I only purchased a single volume of her many works.
I visited yet another bookshop. It was then that I resigned myself to having driven many miles for a single book.
‘Ha,’ I thought magnanimously amused with myself, ‘all this way and for only one book? How hilarious. I could write a blog post on that. Make it a feature of my life; a story to tell and chuckle over when sipping a cup of tea with my numerous dear acquaintances.’
(I may be embellishing the above thoughts just a little).
But then, just when I was resigned to the inevitable small-talk fodder, I went into one last bookshop.
This was my small-talk undoing.
You see, it was then that I hit the treasure trove. It was then that I fell in-sync with the bookshops. It was then that I dive-bombed a Brontë and fell like dragon hoarding gold upon the Heyers.
Nine books in all.
And though I only had visited a small portion of the bookshops, it was time to come home.
… and now, after over seven hours of driving in total, I’ve reached home. Books are awaiting placement on shelves, driving experience has been attained and I’m … going to flop onto my bed with a book and the option of blissful sleep and bid this tired and verbose post adieu.