Over a million books in a small rural village


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About the project Edit

A Book Town is a small rural town or village in which second-hand and antiquarian bookshops are concentrated. These shops, and sometimes also literary festivals, attract bibliophile tourists to them. Most Book Towns have developed in villages of historic interest or of scenic beauty.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

The Book Town concept was initiated by Richard Booth in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, U.K. Boasting 41 bookstores for only 1500 inhabitants (about one bookstore for every 37 residents), Hay-on-Wye also plays host to the annual Hay Festival, a literary gathering that draws 80,000 visitors each May. The book town concept is a completely novel concept.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

Book town offers an exemplary model of sustainable rural development and tourism. It is one of the most succesfull new tourism developments. It is also a innovative way to give a reinvent a town's identity.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

In Europe, some small towns have been inspired by the Hay-on-Wye’s model such as Montolieu and Bécherel in France and Redu in Belgium. But booktowns can also be found in the United States, Canada, Spain, Japan, Germany, Malaysia, Finland and more. A number of the book towns are organised in the International Organisation of Book Towns.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit

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