This morning we set off in the car for a nice day out. We were heading to somewhere that I've wanted to visit for a very long time.
Hard to believe that I'd never been there considering how much of a bookaholic I am. We set out about 9am following the directions on the Hay website. It looked a nice simple route and it would have been, had the last road not been closed for some roadworks. We ended up following a diversion that mysteriously vanished and went via Hereford in the end. Still, it was a lovely drive with the sun shining, blue skies and gorgeous autumn colours all along the route. It was very nice to see the above sign telling us we'd arrived though.
As we entered Hay, I spotted a bookshop. Then another. And another. After a while Stephen threatened to throttle me if I said "Oooh, look! A bookshop!" once more. That man has no sense of humour *grin*
We found the car park easily enough. There aren't many roads in Hay and I did have a map that the info centre had very kindly sent me. First stop was the craft centre cafe next to the car park, for some refreshments. From our table we could see these signs across the road.
Exciting, eh? Once we'd finished our snack we followed the sign on the right and visited The Hay Cinema Bookshop. Oh my! I have never seen so many books in one place. It was huge! I had my filofax with me, with my 'want list' in alphabetical order inside. Using that, I managed to find several of the books that I wanted. I was restricting myself to paperbacks on the list, mainly to give myself something to focus on but also to stop myself from going berserk in there. Oh there were some lovely old smelly books in there. All beautifully bound with shiny spines. They even had a whole section for Folio Society books. I have a few of those from the year I spent as a member and they are just gorgeous.
I tore myself away from there and we took my haul back to the car and fetched a new bag. Hay is pretty much carrier bag free. They'll sell you a re-usable bag but they don't give out bags, which I think is very sensible. We'd taken our Tesco re-usable bags. They're big and strong enough for lots of books!
Next we wandered down the hill towards the castle. On the way we passed The Corner bookshop. I say passed, you might know I had to go in. It was much smaller than the Cinema bookshop but so much better in it's layout. I found quite a few books in there including Catch-22 which is one I was particularly hoping to get and a gorgeous leather bound edition of Kafka's The Trial which the nice man let me have for £3.
Next stop was the Castle bookshop.
I was expecting great things from this place but it was actually the only shop I came out of without any books. Oh there were some lovely books there, but not much in the way of interesting paperbacks. Nice view from up there though.
Next stop was the Richard Booth bookshop. Booth is the chap that made Hay into a booklovers's paradise. It was a very nice shop indeed and more purchases were made in there. Then we had to run back to the car to get a fresh bag and put another pay and display ticket on the car.
We only spent another hour there, but got a few more books. Addyman's bookshop was particularly nice. One thing I noticed. I'd got a lot of Terry Pratchets on my list as I've only read about five and would like to read the rest. In all those shops I only managed to pick up two books. It was easier to find rare out-of-print books than Pratchetts. I may have to buy those new...
We stopped off in Hereford again on the way home, to refuel both us and the car and made it home just after 8pm. A very long and tiring day, but I had a great time. Stephen pretty much let me go wild and buy all the books that I wanted, but then this was my birthday treat.
This was the resulting haul. About forty books in all. I think I was fairly restrained, don't you?