Hay-on-Wye is the oldest and best known book village in Wales

Booth made Hay world-famous as the capital of the second-hand book trade with hundreds of thousands of second-hand, antiquarian and new books.



Richard Booth is an Oxford graduate whose family have lived near Hay-on-Wye since 1903. Hay-on-Wye is situated in mountainous, unpopulated Mid-Wales, half way between Bristol and Birmingham and on the road to Ireland. For that reason Booth believed Hay could adjust to its international market. Booth wanted to stay in the country and make this country business competitive. He thought that a town full of bookshops could be an international attraction - and he was right!

"You buy books from all over the world and your customers come from all over the world," was Richard Booth's idea and it worked.

Booth was the first who began the booktrade in 1961 and today he is the owner of the largest second hand bookshop of the world and the largest bookshop in Hay.

He and his wife are planning to rebuild Hay Castle as the secondhand book specialist centre of the world.

Hay-on-Wye declared independence on April 1st 1977:

Richard Booth was the first who began to talk about the logic of Hay-on-Wye to become independent of the British Isles in 1976. The interest was so great that three television stations and eight national newspapers covered "Home Rule for Hay" on April 1st. The legend of the King of Wales was born! 


Many smaller specialist bookshops followed.

A lot of the people who actually worked for Booth at that time have opened their own bookshops and were all trained by him.


Books from a wide range of subjects including: literature, history, children's books, science fiction, and more...

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