The “town of books” is not actually a town, but a village in the United Kingdom. The village is dedicated to promoting literature. There are many vintage bookshops in the village. I came across the link here.
Just imagine, a community or locality steeped in the love of books. The village is called Hay-on-Wye – I don’t even know how it is pronounced.
And here, a few days ago I was asking on Facebook whether people still have libraries in their neighbourhoods – remember those big buildings full of books that we used to have a couple of decades ago? Every neighbourhood used to have a library back then. Although I love the way new cities are being designed (from many angles they are accessible or it is very easy to improve accessibility in these neighbourhoods), there is scant regard for reading books. Our neighbourhood in Indirapuram does not have many bookshops. Our neighbourhood mall, the legend has it, used to have a bookshop in the beginning but since not many people bought books from there, it closed shop.
Not that people aren’t buying books – the various online retailers are an ample proof that the sale of books has in fact, increased. It’s just that book reading is becoming more and more individualistic. Just buy a book from Amazon or Flipkart and then read it. With the advent of e-book readers like Kindle Reader, even the need to have bookshelves in your house is becoming a thing of the past. Free and purchased books, I must have more than 100 books in my Kindle Reader. Had these been physical books I would have needed a big bookshelf. The old ambience of being surrounded by many, sometimes very old, books, is missing.
The “town of books” must be quite enchanting for, wherever you turn, you can come across a bookshop for a book shack or even plenty of people who would be eager to talk about books. A dream town or dream village indeed. If I ever visit the UK, I would certainly like to visit the town of books.