Hay-on-Wye, Wales, has a population of 1,500 and thirty secondhand bookstores. Since the 1960s, the town has taken in discarded tomes from across the anglophone world, and is known as “the town of books.” Appropriately enough, it’s also home to the annual Hay Festival, described by USA Today as “a geographically remote, bohemian version of the World Economic Forum’s Davos event.” Kindles, needless to say, are frowned upon. (via Paris Review)
In 1889, British prime minister William Gladstone decided to make his 32,000-book library available to the public. Further, he envisioned the space (located in Wales) as a sort of scholarly hotel, at which visitors might spend the night and enjoy meals. And you still can! For a very reasonable $75 per night (dinner and breakfast included), you can stay in a lovely room, have access to the entire library, and roam the gorgeous grounds. Just my cup of tea!