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A picture of Richard Booth

Richard Booth

The booktrade in Hay-on-Wye was started in 1961 by Richard Booth, an Oxford graduate, whose family have lived near Hay-on-Wye since 1903. Hay was ideal, being half way between Bristol and Birmingham and on the road to Ireland. As it is situated in mountainous, unpopulated Mid-Wales, Richard Booth believed Hay could adjust to its international market, its very remoteness protecting it from domination by London. Apart from his family connections, he passionately wanted to stay in the country, also believing that he could make a country business competitive. He therefore persistently pursued the idea that a town full of bookshops could be an international attraction. His first major success was in establishing the Cinema Bookshop which he later sold to a London businessman.



My Kingdom of Books

- Richard Booth