Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Hay Festival & Bookish Delights!

The last week of May and the first day or so of June proved to be very busy and has had an excitingly bookish theme.

The Hay Festival took place in the location of Hay in England, situation just about on the Hereford and Wales border. The town is very bookish and is home to around 30 bookstores and the festival each year.

I have visited Hay twice, neither time during the festival and whilst I am all for taking part and listening to writers talk about their tomes, writings and inspiration I prefer to wander the streets and bookshops of Hay taking it all in on a much more personal level. The festival was beamed across the country and possibly beyond by the television channels and I am delighted that it does.

My visits to Hay are at least 7 years old, but I still recall the wonder of sheer joy when my husband and I ventured into a town on our first night in the area. We stumbled across Castle Bookshop, which is, as I am sure you will not be surprised to find out in the remains of a castle building.
Castle Bookshop - October 2006
Copyright J & S Goucher

Within the confines of the grounds are a series of bookshelves, exposed to the elements complete with books. My poor husband, who bless him does not have a bookish bone in his body (unless you count endless fishing and angling books) was almost beside himself. “Who on earth would leave books outside?” He asked me. I smiled and simply wallowed in the experience and of it all noting that there was a small trust box for payment. Such innocence is actually worth a smile and a real pleasure to see.

And yes, to those of you who are puzzled; there are books in those bookshelves. What I call disposable books, books which are perhaps on their last legs, in other words, very pre owned. The price for each book is just 20p and whether you buy a book or not, to touch and see them in such a unique setting is delightful. I recall purchasing two books and both of them reside on the bookshelves in my study and almost hold the memory of the Hay experience within their covers.

I had just caught my breath from the televised Hay experience when Armchair Book Expo America came to me via the internet. The virtual format of this book conference was produced quite wonderfully and ran alongside the main conference.

There was a getting to know you set of questions to kick us off. Those with a blog chose their questions and then answered them upon their own blog and linked up with the main Armchair BEA site. Each day there was a discussion about a bookish genre, other set questions such as ethics and then there were giveaways and lots of other wonderful posts. The idea of the whole theme was as a book blogger to participate from your own blog and link into the main site.

The entire process ran well and the organisers and volunteers should be commended for putting on such a good virtual show.

I am still reading some of those links and commenting. Not to mention adding recommendations to my never ending book list.

I have had a great May and early June. Did you take part in Armchair BEA? Have you been to Hay, either to the festival or for a bookish break? Leave a comment and tell us!

First published at The Indie Exchange

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