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« Pregnancy As Punishment | Main | Mommy War and Peace »

May 13, 2006


Yes Hay does sound like a "cool" (and wet) place to visit. But as you point out, off-season sounds like a better idea -what with just one hotel in town.

Did you know that Texas too has a famous "book town"? Author Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Last Picture Show) grew up in Archer City Texas where as a book loving child, he had a very difficult time finding books because the town lacked a good book store or library. Upon becoming a successful author, he got into the book selling business. Eventually, he opened the most famous book store in Texas in his child hood home of Archer City.

See what he said about Hay-on-Wye.

"....By the late 1980s, he(McMurtry) had published more than 10 books and received the Pulitzer Prize for Lonesome Dove. He began to think seriously about an old dream: owning a huge used bookstore and locating it in a small book town —where a bookstore is the primary business.

“There are 10 or 12 book towns in the world. The most famous is Hay-on-Wye in Wales, which has a store started in 1962,” McMurtry says.

He turned to Archer City, which he had revisited often while living on the East Coast. In 1987, he opened the town’s first bookstore, The Blue Pig. When the store outgrew its space, McMurtry moved it to a vacant car dealership down the street from the courthouse and changed its name to Booked Up.

Today, Booked Up is the largest business in Archer City, with four buildings on the square. When he’s in town, McMurtry works in the store for about three hours a day, unpacking, hauling and shelving boxes of books. He also talks to fellow booksellers around the nation several times a week..."

Before yesterday I had no idea that "book towns" even existed--but I've got to admit, even knowing that, Texas wouldn't have been my first guess for the location of one in the United States!

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