I did a post when I came back from my 6 week trip round Europe last year about the international book shops we visited and although I haven’t been on another trip like that since, I did visit quite a few bookshops for my birthday this year!
It was my birthday in the middle of July and so I had the day off. My mum also booked the day off and my boyfriend had too which was one of my first birthday surprises! I had been wanting to visit the book village Hay on Wye for a while now. I’ve been to the Hay Festival a few times in the past but that was about 8-10 years ago now! I was definitely due another visit.
As well as visiting Hay-on-Wye, my boyfriend also surprised me with a trip to London the day after my birthday and so we visited Daunt Books and Piccadilly Waterstones so I will be including those in this post!
Addyman Books is one of the most famous bookshops in Hay-on-Wye and so I just had to visit. It’s pretty much full of used books but there are some spaces that have new books. There’s also a book passage that filled with old books but I couldn’t find any that took my fancy. This seating area looked quite comfy though!
Richard Booth was one of my favourite bookshops on my mini trip to Hay-on-Wye. It sells first and second hand books, as well as having a cafe on its lowest floor. We had lunch in the cafe which was a little expensive but nice.
I loved the seating area (right) and felt that it should have belonged in a library in an old house.
My boyfriend and mum aren’t really readers but seeing as they were with me on this trip, they came up with a game to pass the time which involved finding the highest priced book out of all the shops! It was quite surprising how much some books actually were!
When we visited Hay Castle, it was unfortunately shut due to works being done on it. This meant that the outdoors bookshelf had also been moved to accommodate the space needed for the building works. However, we were still able to access the outdoor bookshelf.
The outdoor bookshelf really relies on trusting people as there is nobody to monitor it or to ensure that if someone picks a book up, they actually pay for it! It is full of used books so they are relatively cheap.
This one was probably my biggest disappointment of the day. After visiting a couple of great bookshops, I walked into this one and just felt a little disappointed.
It’s full of childrens books, but some of them were so old. To me, it just didn’t have the same magical feel to it that the other bookshops did.
Perhaps I was feeling a little off about it because we’d just eaten ice cream made from Sheep’s milk, something I never thought I’d say, and that made me feel a little meh after eating it.
I visited Daunt Books in London the next day as my boyfriend took me on a surprise trip to London. I’ve been wanting to visit Daunt Books for quite a while now but don’t go to London that often so I thought I’d drag my boyfriend to it on our little trip. After I’d taken him and my mum to Hay-on-Wye the previous day, I felt a little bad taking him to yet another bookshop but I also really wanted to go here.
After we visited Daunt Books, we also came across Waterstones Piccadilly on our walk to Buckingham Palace so I quickly nipped in there so that I could show my boyfriend one of my favourite bookshops in the world!
I exercised restraint at all of these shops and actually came away with nothing. I was pretty proud of myself but the reason for that was because I knew I was going to YALC a week later and that would definitely mean a lot of book buying.