Tag Archives: Bookstores

A Bibliophile’s Paradise In A Picturesque Welsh Town – Hay-on-Wye

By Lakshmi:

For the last ten days, we have been enjoying the picturesque landscape of South Wales with a dash of the pulsating city life in London.  On our maiden trip to South Wales, we wanted to get a slice of this picturesque country and its people and the description of Hay-on-Wye appeared to bring the perfect blend of these attributes.

Located within the Brecon Beacons National Park on the English-Welsh border, this small town of approx. 2,000 people contains over 20 bookstores that house an amazing collection of new, used and antique books on an “Amazonian” range of topics.  

As a family of book lovers, we jumped at the opportunity to spend a day in a town 30 minutes from our home.  The drive from Crickhowell to Hay-on-Wye was a visual treat encompassing snow-covered mountains and verdant green landscapes with grazing sheep and horses.  Driving in Wales is quite the adventure.  In addition to driving on a different side of the road, you are navigating narrow two-way roadways that have enough room to squeeze in a single car!  Amusement parks, step aside.  You can have your own thrills on the roadways of Wales.

As we parked the car and navigated the narrow lanes of the town, we were greeted with small stores selling an assortment of goods.  Alas!  Most of the storefronts appeared closed and our hearts sank as we thought that we chose the wrong day to visit.  Stepping into the first open store, we discovered the world of The Addyman Annexe, described by the Antiquarian Book Review as the “jewel in the crown” of this small town.

If you are a book lover, you can understand the flutter in our hearts as we quickly eyeballed the selections here ….signed editions of Harry Potter books, the entire collections of PG Woodhouse, cookbooks on Welsh cookery, military collections that spanned every conflict anywhere in the world and more.  The family spread out, lost to the world for several hours.

If it weren’t the fact that the stores were closing down between 1pm and 2pm for lunch, we would have never left.  But with close to a dozen books purchased, off we went in search for a place to eat.  Our discovery led us to the Granary, a family owned restaurant and cafe.  The owner rushed to our table with a spot heater and stayed with us to ensure we were warm and that all the vegetarian food we had ordered was to our liking.  Yes, everywhere we visited in town, we were bowled over by the friendliness of the people.  Very similar to what we encounter in suburban New Jersey on the other end of the Atlantic….NOT.

After this delightful break, we were back at the bookstores for more, walking out at the end of the day with four very heavy bags, huge smiles and an immense sense of contentment.

Take a walk down this beautiful town with us through our photo essay below.

Strand Book Store NYC- A Reader’s Haven

By Siddhi: 

Who?  Anyone who loves reading or has an interest in specialized books, music, and rare publications. And especially those who enjoy losing themselves in a labyrinth of endless history and creativity.

What? The Strand Book Store on 828 Broadway in New York City (in the East Village at the corner of East 12th Street). This is the main store. There is also a kiosk in Central Park.

How? You can walk on Broadway until you reach the store or take a subway to the Union Square subway station using the 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, and R lines. Once you’re at Union Square, turn onto Broadway.

Why?  I passed Strand all the time walking from Washington Square Park to Union Square. I didn’t explore it at first because I thought it would be just like any other book store in the city. One day on whim I decided to walk in, and my search for good reads in the Great Apple has never been the same. The store occupies 55,000 square feet of space and houses new, used and out-of-print  literature, film, music, and rare books of every niche on its multi-level property. As a movie lover, I first made my way over to the books on film and was blown away by the unbelievable, never-ending shelves of books I have never heard of in my life. There were expansive collections of interviews from directors I never knew ended up publishing papers and theories on cinema and its production. If you look close enough, you can end up finding signed copies of books from notable filmmakers, musicians, and writers just laying on the shelves of Strand. It really is an amazing place for anyone who loves the arts. The store also has a section dedicated to very unique stationery and New York City themed clothing and accessories. You walk into Strand thinking you’ll spend ten to fifteen minutes in the store, and end up exploring for hours.

To learn more about Strand, go to the site here:

http://www.strandbooks.com/