A Book Town is a trend that began in the 1960’s and refers to a town or village with a large number of used book or antiquarian book stores.
Along with their unique and plentiful bookstores they also host wonderful literary festivals
These book festivals attract book lovers and bibliophiles from all over the world. A number of towns are also members of the International Organisation of Book Towns.
Check out these first 6 awesome, yet quaint little book towns:
Sometimes referred to as the “Village of Books.” Montolieu was the town that first introduced me to the concept of “Book Towns.” With a population of roughly only 747 people Montolieu contains fifteen bookshops, mostly specializing in second-hand and
Every year the town offers many workshops such as: Used and antiquarian bookshops, Working craftspeople of books and art, The Arts and Crafts of the Book Museum, Bibliophilia stocks, Educational activities around the Book and its craft, and many more. These workshops attract approx. . 52 000 visitors each year.
The concept of book towns first came into being in the 1960s, when the fortunes of Hay-on-Wye, a small market town on the Welsh/English border, were transformed by the power of books. The opportunity to regenerate struggling villages and towns by opening up secondhand bookstores and welcoming literary events has since been embraced by many other locations around the world. The town of just under 2,000 also hosts an “honesty bookshop,” where you make your selection against a backdrop of some old ruins and leave your money in a box.
Known as Tokyo’s center of used-book stores and publishing houses, and as a popular antique and curio shopping area. In 1913, a large fire destroyed most of the area. In the wake of the fire, a university professor named Shigeo Iwanami opened a bookstore in Jinbōchō which eventually grew into today’s Iwanami Shoten publishing house. Over time, the area became popular with university students and intellectuals, and many small bookstores and cafes opened there.
Hobart, New York
Hobart is a historical village in Delaware County, New York, United States. This beautiful agricultural community has a population of approx. 441 (at the 2010 census.) The village has 5 bookstores, as well as 20 other book sellers within a 20 mile radius. In 1999 the town was a ghost town but by 2005 Don Dales (a local entrepreneur) and musician saved the town by establishing the first book town east of the Mississippi.
For a detailed story about this town’s amazing
journey check out the article in this link:
In the medieval town of Urueña, in Valladolid, you will find the first “Villa del Libro” in Spain. In the streets of this town you will find 12 bookshops selling old or out of print books, or wher e interesting activities take place: El Rincón Escrito, Alejandría Bookshop, “Wine Museum” Cellar Bookshop (specialising in science and fiction literature about wine), Alcuino Caligrafía (organises
courses on calligraphy of other cultures, for all levels), El 7 Bookshop (specialising in the world of bullfighting), Samuel Bookshop, Alvacal, Boutique del Cuento, Almadí Bookshop, La Punta del Iceberg, Alcaraván Bookshop and the Artisan Book Binding Workshop of Urueña.
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=167995
In the beautiful Ardennes region of Belgium, Redu is a lovely little village with a population of 500. Local villager Noel Anselot returned from a trip to Hay-on-Wye In 1979, and was so inspired that he decided to regenerate his own tiny village by attracting booksellers. He wrote to many book-dealers across the region, inviting them to set up shop in some of the original village buildings (such as barns, houses, and sheds) to keep the look of the village intact. The project was a success. Now 17 bookshops specializing in secondhand books and comics are based in the village. Redu holds a number of book-related exhibitions and events every year, including a book night when the bookshops stay open all night long. The town was officially declared a book town in 1984 after holding its first book festival.
I cannot get over how beautiful these towns are.
It would be a dream to visit any one of them. However, I think I need to save up so I can plan an around the book world in 80 days trip!
Have you been to any of these book towns? Which would you love to visit?
Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow evening! Now Available: Pt: II
I’ve done a lot of reading this week, so I’d like to end the week by sharing what’s been on my plate. I’ve read 2 very different classics, and just started a fairy 😉 intriguing new book.
Here’s what I’ve been sipping on:
The Secret Garden
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I began the week finishing up this good-ole classic favorite. It’s a lovely book that has been a perfect springtime read.
An endearing and mysterious tale about an orphan girl sent to a Yorkshire mansion at the edge of a eerie lonely moor. She is frightened of the vast strange place until she meets a local boy, Dickon, who’s earned the trust of the moor’s wild animals, the invalid Colin; an unhappy boy terrified of life, and of course the secret abandoned garden…
Rated 4.6 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Lavender Dream Latte
Sweet Cream heated/steamed poured over lavender tea with a dollop of white chocolate, finish with lavender sprinkles.
2001: a Space Odyssey
by Arthur C. Clarke
One of Science Fiction’s most well known classics, I really enjoyed this book. I wasn’t sure I would but he kept me turnin pages.
When an enigmatic monolith is found buried on the moon, scientists are amazed to discover that it’s at least 3 million years old. Even more amazing, after it’s unearthed the artifact releases a powerful signal aimed at Saturn. What sort of alarm has been triggered? To find out, a manned spacecraft, the Discovery, is sent to investigate.
Rated 4.6 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Golden Ring Latte
Start with a little coconut cream in a glass,
swirl the glass with rings of honey, add Espresso,
add steamed or frothed Golden Milk (milk with turmeric see recipe, can also be made with dairy milk) lightly drizzle top with honey.
What I just started:
Gossip From The Forest
by Sara Maitland
I was just given this book as a gift, and how fortunate I am. I had never heard of it, but it already has me enchanted. It looks to be another perfect springtime read and I can’t wait to get into the magic this weekend!
How about you, what have you been sipping on?
“I’ve never had a moment’s doubt. I love you. I believe in you completely. You are my dearest one. My reason for life.”
Ian McEwan, Atonement
“I believe in you completely.”
I love that line. It is, I believe, rooted in many great relationships.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”
The unnamed narrator, a naïve young woman in her early 20s, becomes acquainted with a wealthy Englishman, Maximilian (Maxim) de Winter, a widower aged 42. After a fortnight of courtship, she agrees to marry him and, after the wedding and honeymoon, accompanies him to his mansion in Cornwall, the beautiful West Country estate Manderley.
The second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she started a new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. In every corner and room of the isolated gray stone mansion were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten.
An eerie past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house’s current occupants.
A ghostly aura silhouettes her heart, as the second Mrs. de Winter walks in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor. She lives cautiously, yet compelled to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim’s first wife; the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.
Rated 4.4 on amazon.com
“And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea”
Book Bean: Pale Moon
Earl grey tea steeped dense or pulled, white chocolate swirl, steamed/frothed milk, sprinkled with nutmeg.
Have you read Rebecca, or any other such hauntingly mysterious books?