Your bookshops #20, Richard Booth's Bookshop

There are so many wonderful bookshops around the country that I'm yet to make a pilgrimage to Hay-On-Wye, which means I'm particularly grateful to Twitter friend Clare for volunteering to share her experience in one of the town's bookshops.

Richard Booth's Bookshop
44 Lion Street, Hay-On-Wye, Powys, HR3 5AA, Wales
Tel: 01497 820322 @BoothsBookshop
Published: 16th October, 2016

In September while on holiday with my boyfriend I finally made it to Hay-On-Wye, wearing a dress with book pattern on it of course.

This town is bookshop heaven, they are everywhere, including tiny ones in what appears to be someone's back garden, all with treasures of their own, a favourite was Rose's Books on Belmont Road, stocking children's and illustrated books, all beautiful and some very rare ones.

Then we came across Richard Booth's Bookshop on Lion Street, which stocks second hand and new books together... and it is heaven inside.

This feels very much like a Victorian/Edwardian bookshop would, or maybe even Harry Potter: I did expect Hermione Granger to appear from around a corner her arms filled with books. There are three floors, on the third floor you find what could be miles and miles of book shelves, and comfy seats in which hours and hours of very happy book reading time could be spent.

I loved the mix of second hand next to new books, you never knew what you would come across next. My purchase from here was How green was my valley by Richard Llewellyn, a book I've been meaning to read for a very long time.

Richard Booth's is heaven for anyone who loves bookshops, books and exploring. I also loved the wooden signs held by gold chains telling you what type of books a section sold, I would very highly recommend a visit, I need to go back as I have much more to explore and many more books to buy....

Incidentally I must mention Addyman Books, which is also on Lion Street (and across the road from a bookshop called Murder and Mayhem). It is heaven for anyone like me who collects vintage classic Penguin books, they really have a wonderful selection.

So really just visit Hay, and all the bookshops but definitely Richard Booth's on Lion Street...

Thank you so much to Clare for taking part in Your Bookshops and reminding us all why we want to visit this Powys book town.


  1. Just discovered your blog today; I'm a big used bookshop fan in particular so always keen to find new shops and opinions. I also went to Richard Booth's. All very well laid out and organised but we found very rude staff and silly prices for the most common of items. Seemed like they were there to cater for tourists really. The Old Cinema Bookshop in Hay is a more interesting, informal place to browse.

    1. Hello, I'm sorry to see you had a bad time there. I've now managed to visit the bookshop for myself and really enjoyed it. I'll admit, the staff in the cafe seemed a little rushed off their feet, but I simply took that as a sign of a busy place.

      When - it does sometimes (very rarely) happen - I find fault with a bookshop I tend to give it another chance because things can't be perfect all the time, hopefully you'll have better look next time too.

    2. Glad you got to go, its a lovely part of the world, for sure. :) I quite agree - staff in used bookshops especially (which I mostly frequent) aren't always the most sociable, so I tend to judge more on the shop itself. But when staff are swearing to each other and a shop assistant looks down their nose at me for daring to ask for a bag to protect my purchases, I tend to judge them on that. 1 of the more expensive general used bookshops in town though. On the plus side, they're certainly one of the best organised and a cafe on site is always welcome - encourages you to browse longer.

  2. I loved everything about this place. I had a helpful member of staff who assisted me in tracking down the section I was after, we had a beautiful little tea & scone in the cafe, and I think in total we spent about 3 hours here. Hand-painted signage, creaking wooden staircase, staff I found to be friendly and relaxed... It was a wonderful experience.

    1. Hi Fran, this is lovely to hear! I really enjoyed my visit here too.


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