What’s the quickest way from the south of England up to Edinburgh? It’s not through Wales. But that’s the way we went. Because why not have a reading road trip?
First stop, Bath.
It seemed right to pay a visit, having finished a year of writing Jane Austen letters
. I also received a Reading Year
at my favourite bookshop, Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights
! This means I had an appointment to chat books with bookseller Jess, who noted my preferences, to be taken into consideration by my personal bibliotherapist. I will receive a lovely packaged selection each month!
Following our usual Bath routine, we ended the day at Society Café
with tea, cake, and reading time.
Oh hey, Hay-on-Wye!
My 36 Hours guide to Europe has clued me in on many a hidden gem, including a Town of Books. Yes, the road signs say it and everything. It’s exactly as it sounds – a small village full of bookshops of all kinds: new, old, mystery, children’s.
- Richard Booth’s – a massive new & old bookshop that includes a café, a cinema, and the cosiest chairs ever.
- Murder and Mayhem – specialising in mystery, true crime, and horror, with appropriately spooky decor
- The Old Electric Shop – Even this quirky furniture and home store has a little bookshop by its café.
Shopping for books is an instinctive thing. It’s magical when you let it be: what book do I need right now? What book is right for me to get at this bookshop in particular? I set aside The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency at Mr B’s because I didn’t love the cover, then found one with a better cover at a charity shop later that day. It has to feel right. And that is the extra joy of a paperback book – because the contents go without saying, of course.