About Me

My photo
Bristol , United Kingdom
My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, will be published early in 2022 by Indigo Dreams. I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy. https://theleapingword.com

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Hey - Hey - Hay-on-Wye

Having recently delivered 25 boxes of books to the Amnesty International Bookshop, it probably wasn't the best idea in the world to head for Hay-on-Wye with the ever-present danger that I might repopulate the corners of my house that are now free of piles of tomes.   But too late, there I was, in the small border town of approximately 30 second hand bookshops, with a credit card in my mitt and a crazed gleam in my eye.  

Hay is made for nostalgia.

There are delights at every turn.

Look, pottery and poetry, two of my favourite things and only a consonant to choose between them. 

And everywhere books, books, books, books, books ... 

In Hay-on-Wye, the townsfolk  are less than enthusiastic about Kindles.

In fact, you could say that they don't kindle any affection in the them whatsoever. 

It's no use arguing with them about it either. (Not that I own one myself, you understand.)

This shop displays the inside of a Transylvanian church along with its merchandise ...  

... this is a former cinema ...

... and this isn't a shop at all really. 

Not the sort of book I tend to read but irresistible all the same.

Over lunch - and later, tea, cake and the Guardian Quick Crossword - we gloated over our acquisitions and rested up ... 

... ready for the next onslaught.

There are some shops that don't sell books ...  

... and we did tear ourselves away long enough to admire a rainbow arcing over the River Wye ...  

... but most of our pleasures were bibliophilic.  Can you guess which book I fell for out of this selection?

Clue, it's the one written by a poet with a beautiful, gold-embossed spine ... to go with my Selected Poems of Grevel Lindop, Collected Poems of E J Scovell, an American edition of Emily Dickinson's love poems, and a Jarrold Pathfinder Guide to Peak District Walks. Result!  


  1. A wonderful walk down memory lane, Deborah. From Swansea we used to go several times a year ... Is the Poetry Bookshop still there? And yes, I would also have gone for the de la Mare (jealous!).

    1. Hello Caroline, yes, it's still there in the Ice House on Brook Street. I did buy a book there because it's a fab shop and it's important to support them, though I feel the poetry books in other shops not specialising in poetry tend to be more reasonably priced.