Secondhand and Antiquarian Bookshops in the UK and Republic of Ireland

Rose's Books has merged with Stella Books as Stella and Rose's Books in Tintern, South Wales.
C. Arden has moved to a bookroom with regular opening hours.
Barnabees Books added
Machynlleth market bookstalls - none remain
Honesty Books long gone
Strand Bookshop is no longer primarily a bookshop
New bookshop Literary (Cat) Books
Antiques Collectables and Books renamed Willis Antiques
Treehigh Sales bookstall has closed, now Hardy's Bookstore in Welshpool

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We do our best to make sure these details are correct and up-to-date. However we recommend that you contact bookshops before making a special journey.

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Addyman Annexe /HAY-ON-WYE/27 Castle Street  
Addyman Annexe   Open at advertised times
27 Castle Street    HAY-ON-WYE  HR3 5AJ
tel:  01497 821600    web  
Open:  7 days 10.30 - 5.30
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About 15.000 books

It is sheer pleasure browsing in the lovely Annexe and the main Addyman store on Lion Street - good quality specialist stock, polite helpful staff, and fair prices. All considered probably the best shops in Hay.  George Marshall 03.11.09
Contains books not found in main Addyman shop. Well worth a visit, very good topography and travel selection.  Norman Davies 16.03.11
Well worth a visit. Better items behind glass but the lady in the shop (Marian) was very pleasant and helpful.  Corso 11.09.12
A very pleasant visit made better by the charming lady behind the desk. A good variety of titles with military and war being very strong.  Chris Harte 06.08.13
The stock may be good but it is eye wateringly expensive. Worth a detour only if you are loaded and not bothered about looking elsewhere.  The Drifter 22.08.13
Something has happened since some of the previous reviews, as this shop has neither a very good topographical stock nor was the proprietress either charming or pleasant. The unwelcoming reception was bad enough in itself but the prices were optimistic to say the least and buyers can certainly do a lot better elsewhere in the town. Certainly no longer one of the "best shops in Hay".  Nicholas Pendower 12.04.14
Different days, different experiences: I found help, and some books worth considering, among quite a lot of remainders.  James Mackay 14.06.14
A very pleasant shop situated just down from the castle with a wide ranging stock all categorized. Having visited all the hay shops in 4 days, and buying multiple books from most, this was one I found nothing worth buying in the naval/WW2 sections.  Laurence Batchelor 19.07.14
Still a nice looking shop but heavily affected by a bad case of remainderitis. Prices slightly silly. the second hand history is not bad tho.  Jon Morgan 16.09.14
Again, same as the other branch of Addyman! Nothing has really changed, Nice shop but almost all the fiction was remainders. Good history / Military section tho.  Jonathan Morgan 15.09.18

Addyman Books /HAY-ON-WYE/39 Lion Street  
Addyman Books   Open at advertised times
39 Lion Street    HAY-ON-WYE  HR3 5AD
tel:  01497 821136  e-mail   web  
Open: 7 days 10.30 - 5.30 but closed some Sundays
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About 15,000 secondhand books. Specialising in modern first editions, literature, eighteenth and nineteenth century and antiquarian. We also have two other shops in Hay, The Addyman Annexe and Murder and Mayhem - specialising in mystery, detective fiction and true crime.

Most interesting shop which has had a recent facelift after twenty-five years of trading. A specialised ground-floor children's room was full of young ankle-biters and their mothers. Upstairs had sections on transport, the performing arts and literature. I had a wonderful time searching for my wants and left staggering under the weight of two box-loads. Many shops in Hay are pretentious: this, thank goodness, is not one of them.  Chris Harte 18.08.10
Very good shop with much to interest all readers and buyers. good railway selection.  Norman Davies 16.03.11
Very good,wide ranging, well laid out stock but expensive. Not the most generous or realistic offers in Hay should you take in books.  The Drifter 22.08.13
Although there was a wide ranging and interesting stock in a limited number of subject areas, I didn't find what I was looking for, but judging by the prices displayed on quite ordinary titles in the window I wouldn't have been able to have afforded it even if I had.  Nicholas Pendower 12.04.14
A big stock, and quite a lot of it interesting; but, as just about everywhere in Hay, nothing special.  James Mackay 14.06.14
This shop is pleasant enough to visit purely to admire the reclaimed and painted wooden paneling from an old 19th Century Transylvanian Church. Very heavy on art & photography books, but I came away empty-handed.  Laurence Batchelor 19.07.14
Not bad and retains some of the old Hay charm - mind the wood worm infested floor boards and large hole! Upstairs bigger than I remember . Kids section interesting but Biggles etc pricey. Otherwise so so. The penguin / paperback room has so many that the orange / green begins to glare after a while ...  Jon Morgan 16.09.14
Back again after almost exactly four years. Not a great deal has changed, other than an infection, here and elsewhere of the remainder virus. Not a bad thing in itself, but the same remainders kept appearing in different shops. The prices charged for some of them (£5 plus) was surprising. Stock here not bad, but none of the Terry Pratchett HB that I was after.  Jonathan Morgan 15.09.18

Ashbrook Garage/HAY-ON-WYE/Clyro
Ashbrook Garage  Phone before travelling
Clyro   HAY-ON-WYE   HR3 5RZ
tel: 01497 821046 
Open:  Monday - Friday 8.30 - 5.30, Saturday 8.30 - 12.30.
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Bookroom - motoring and motor racing, local interest & automobilia. Even the garage here sells books! Open 5 1/2 days, sometimes more, ring over weekend to check. Motoring books bought.

Barnabees Books/HAY-ON-WYE/Little Tyleglas, Felindre
Barnabees Books    Phone before travelling
Little Tyleglas, Felindre  HAY-ON-WYE  LD3 0TA
tel:  07855 662220  e-mail  
Open: Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00, Sunday 11.00 - 4.00, phone first.
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We specialise in vintage paperbacks, Ladybird books, Observer’s series, Shire books, and have interesting natural history, military history, poetry, theology, art, architecture and design and murder mystery. Also a farmhouse Airbnb. The map location above is accurate, postcode location only approximate. No connection with Barnabee's Books in Suffolk.

Brecon Books/BRECON/10-12 Lion Yard
Brecon Books  Open at advertised times
10-12 Lion Yard   BRECON   LD3 7BA
tel: 01874 620086  e-mail 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.30.
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An ever-changing stock, covering all subjects. welsh interest, military history, art, fiction, children's, natural history, history, theology, transport. Books purchased, clearances undertaken, libraries purchased.

An excellent shop to visit and allow a minimum of two hours to go through the shelves of books. On my latest visit I actually borrowed a chair to use as my back was hurting with all the bending. I've found many new treasures here. Nothing is boring; it's all carefully chosen material. Recommended.  Chris Harte 15.08.21

Broad Street Book Centre/HAY-ON-WYE/6 Broad Street
Broad Street Book Centre  Open at advertised times
6 Broad Street   HAY-ON-WYE   HR3 5DB
tel: 01497 821919  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 4.30.
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Sixteen book sellers under one roof. Specialities include music, military, maritime, sport, antiquarian, geology, Observer, Ladybird and Shire books, history, children's, railways, cookery, modern firsts, Churchill, and women writers. Be part of the "Town of Books". Fully serviced units available to specialist book dealers, including internet listing of your stock.

Contains several sellers including in my view one of the best railway book shops in England/Wales: Superb selection at reasonable prices. Sadly missed by many as at north end of Hay. WAD.  Norman Davies 16.03.11
Wide ranging multi-dealer emporium on one floor.. Some prices rather ambitious but bargains to be had. Parking nearby.  The Drifter 22.08.13
As it says in the blurb, sixteen different dealers. However, that did not deter from a good range of stock covering a number of specific classifications. Easy to search and, in addition, racks of very amusing cards.  Chris Harte 01.03.14
It very much depends on what you're looking for, but I found this rather disappointing. Many of the books appeared to be priced up for book fairs and would seem to be slightly on the optimistic side. While I found a few interesting titles, they weren't tempting enough to make me get my wallet out.  Nicholas Pendower 12.04.14
Several small dealers in neat and tidy cubicles, too neat and tidy to be interesting.  James Mackay 14.06.14
For me this is in the top 3 of book shops in Hay on Wye. So many dealers rent space within which means there is varied and specialized holdings. I spent around an hour in here and came away with 8 military books and was offered a discount.  Laurence Batchelor 19.07.14
Always worth a visit, although space can be limited when trying to browse and competing with another bookworm for space. Some of the prices of the railway books were a bit on the high side.  SteveBrissle 04.08.14
Visited for the first time in 18 months, it appears a number of dealers have left, no Military and very poor selection of History. Now closed on Sundays.  Peter Williams 07.03.15
Return visit and there are now two sections of railway books. The one nearer the front of the shop is well organised and the books are reasonably priced. The other at the rear of the shop was less interesting. Various other subjects were reasonably well represented.  SteveBrissle 28.11.17

C. Arden Bookseller /HAY-ON-WYE/The Nursery, Forest Road
C. Arden Bookseller   Open at advertised times
The Nursery, Forest Road  HAY-ON-WYE  HR3 5DT
tel:  01497 820 471  e-mail   web
Open: Monday - Friday 9.30 - 5.00, Saturday 9.30 - 12.00
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Our focus is on Natural History (including Collins' New Naturalist series), Zoology, Entomology, Ornithology, Gardening, Botany, Bees & Beekeeping. Catalogues issued on request. Around 15,000 new, second-hand and antiquarian books for sale through our bookroom on Forest Road. We're happy to view and buy books in our specialisms. Visitors always welcome and parking available.

Children_s Bookshop/HAY-ON-WYE/Toll Cottage
The Children's Bookshop  Open at advertised times
Toll Cottage  Pontvaen   HAY-ON-WYE   HR3 5EW
tel: 01497 821083  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.30.
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For the specialist collector of children's books this is splendid. A bit pricey but such a comprehensive range. Don't forget to ring the bell hard!  Norman Davies 19.11.11
This one was well worth the long trek on a very hot July Friday (approx. 1-mile) North from Hay, past the Co-op Supermarket and along Broad Street. Be careful on oncoming traffic though as most of the road outside of the town has no footpath! 2/3 parking spaces were available so driving their might be safer. This is a children's specialist bookshop spread over 2 main rooms with extra stock in the basement. The owner was most helpful to our requests and we made 2 purchases at I would say fair prices. Recommended if Children's books are what you seek.  Laurence Batchelor 19.07.14

Clock Tower Books/HAY-ON-WYE/Carlton House
Clock Tower Books  Open at advertised times
Carlton House  The Pavement   HAY-ON-WYE   HR3 5BU
tel: 01497 821610  e-mail 
Open:   7 days in summer 10.30 - 5.00, winter closed Monday and all days at 4.30.
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General stock with specialists in military, history, craft, railways, modern firsts and affordable children's books in particular. Also an extensive choice of CDs and LPs from Tangled Parrot and a good selection of collectable stamps, maps etc. Several expert dealers in one shop. Dealer units available at the time of listing, please enquire by e-mail.

A little gem! Particularly good for my interests in medieval history, military history and books on Wales - all at very reasonable prices. Delighted with what I bought. Friendly, knowledgeable & helpful chap running the shop, which is new and expanding. Well worth a visit.  Isaac 14.02.15
I agree with Isaac, great little shop very good selection of Military books. I came away with several books and two CD's!  Peter Williams 07.03.15
"A Little Gem" is exactly right. A splendid selection of varying titles from different dealers. My interests were well catered for but it was the quality of the books which really caught my eye. The owner knew the book trade well and it was a pleasure hearing his knowledgeable thoughts.  Chris Harte 25.05.17
This shop has relocated to near the covered market area - (First time I have been to Hay mid week and it has quite a nice market - albeit a little top heavy with curios and antiques). 5 Market Street, Hay on Wye, HR3 5AF 07968133019 ; email ; get2books@btinternet.com. A good general stock in quirky building with a very knowledgeable owner, interested and interesting, as well as passionate about his trade and stock. This is what Hay used to be. He was telling me that a new bookshop is opening diagonally opposite which is good news given the number that have vanished of the last half decade or so. This one is worth visiting. My experience chimes exactly with Chris Harte et al.  Jonathan Morgan 15.09.18

Coch-y-Bonddu Books/MACHYNLLETH/PapyrusPentrehedyn Street
Coch-y-Bonddu Books   Open at advertised times
Papyrus  Pentrehedyn Street    MACHYNLLETH  SY20 8DJ
tel:  01654 702837  e-mail   web
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.00.
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30,000 titles, mainly in our fields of fishing, field sports and natural history. Also new books.

This is probably the best place (other than private dealers) that I have come across for hunting and field sports books. The quality on the shelves was quite remarkable. Not only that but the Welsh section was, I was told by my Welsh speaking wife, worthy of considerable perusal. What I also liked was the knowledge displayed by the most helpful young man who was filing some new titles. I was also given a copy of their latest catalogue: it was top rate.  Chris Harte 09.05.11
Emphatically endorse Mr Harte's comments above: the quality and quantity of the books falling into the specialist categories catered for here have to be seen to be believed. Three rooms stuffed full of simply amazing titles.  Graeme Rendall 22.10.15
This place is just a superb example of what a bookshop should be like. Easy to read titles on well-spaced shelving; books laid out neatly on tables, and staff who are obviously experts in their subjects. Although angling is to the fore there is still plenty on horses, hunting and country matters. No wonders visitors from North America visit regularly. Drif would love this shop. WWAD  Chris Harte 15.08.21

Dyfi Valley Bookshop /MACHYNLLETH/6 Doll Street  
Dyfi Valley Bookshop   Phone before travelling
6 Doll Street    MACHYNLLETH  SY20 8BQ
tel:  01654 703849, mob: 07875672752  e-mail   web
Open:  Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 12.00 & 12.30 - 4.30.
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We have a large general stock but specialise in archery, firearms/shooting, military books and arms and armour.

Interesting shop crammed with books at very variable prices. Well worth a look if passing.  Norman Davies 24.04.10
General stock spread over a good sized ground floor. Various groupings. Worth a visit.  Chris Harte 09.05.11
Check opening hours before visiting as I forgot to note which days that Neil is closed. However, this shop never disappoints, always worth a rummage amongst the excellent stock and a good browse - my wife despairs every time I visit!  Anthony 14.08.13
as closed on an August Saturday afternoon sadly, didn't have time to ring. No notice in the window and was closed again on the Wednesday. Missed my annual visit!  Anthony 21.08.19
Apologies to visitors who find us closed but to stay in business I have to do two other jobs working unpredictable hours.  Neil (owner) 04.08.21
This was the surprise of my visit to the town. An excellent stock with quality in the categories. I spent an hour and a half examining what was on the shelves and came away very impressed.  Christopher Harte 29.08.21

Fleur De Lys/HAY-ON-WYE/5 St. John_s Place
Fleur De Lys  Open at advertised times
5 St. John's Place  (next to Kilvert's Inn)   HAY-ON-WYE   HR3 5BN
tel: 07792 545675  e-mail 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.00.
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35 years a full-time specialist in railways & transport. Selected good quality books, ephemera, models, railwayana, and small collectibles. A spotter's paradise! Similar always wanted - can travel worldwide. Also some antiques.

Francis Edwards Antiquarian Bookshop /HAY-ON-WYE/Hay Cinema Bookshop Ltd  Castle Street  
Francis Edwards Antiquarian Bookshop   Open at advertised times
Hay Cinema Bookshop Ltd  Castle Street    HAY-ON-WYE  HR3 5DF
tel:  01497 820071  e-mail   web
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 6.00, Sunday 10.00 - 5.30.
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Part of and located in the Hay Cinema bookshop with car park and picnic garden. Antiquarian and rare books since 1855. Catalogues in all subjects issued. 7,000 books in all subjects. We purchase single books of importance, collections and entire libraries.

Spread through 4 well lit rooms housed within the Old Cinema; staff remarkable, books collectable, antiquarian range substantial, even a London shop extends the stock. Top notch, easy browsing. Splendid.  Ducasse 03.01.15
The upstairs at the old cinema bookshop. Prices seemed mostly reasonable. Lots of older used and antiquarian, unlike downstairs. Well laid out. Nothing for me today but well worth visiting.  Flip M 18.03.16

Great Oak Bookshop/LLANIDLOES/35 Great Oak Street
The Great Oak Bookshop  Open at advertised times
35 Great Oak Street   LLANIDLOES   SY18 6BW
tel: 01686 412959 
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Charming and friendly bookshop selling second hand books along with new titles- better books in the front shop and a large and somewhat chaotic older stock spread over two floors at the rear and in the cellar.  George Marshall 06.02.09
Worth visiting as looks ordinary but walk through to rear and there is an annexe with very variable quality but browsable stock plus an "interesting" cellar!  Norman Davies 24.04.10
As previously stated a most pleasant bookshop in which to browse. However, a change of ownership a couple of years ago meant a change in knowledge. Charming as the ladies might be, their knowledge of books is at the very lower edges of the scales. Look around by all means but don't expect too much sense.  Chris Harte 24.10.12
Five years since my last review and the knowledge of the owners has still not improved. "We price from abe on the internet" I was proudly told. "We go by their prices." So that was probably why some prices were stupidly high and others so low as to be a joke. I purchased over a dozen quality books, all at a fraction of what I would have expected to pay. I'm going back as soon as I can find the time.  Chris Harte 25.08.17
Excellent. One main room, a large shed at the back over two floors and a cellar of books 50p or less. While we were there a lady was playing a Welsh harp, which added to the fine ambience."  Mark V 13.10.17
The latest of the new owners has now been in-situ for nearly a year. Instead of playing on the computer for the two hours I was in the shop, it might have been a better use of the owners' time to have attended to the immediate need for the secondhand sections to be cleaned and culled of titles which will never sell.  Chris Harte 13.08.19

Green Ink Booksellers/HAY-ON-WYE/Grove House
Green Ink Booksellers  Open at advertised times
Grove House  High Town   HAY-ON-WYE   HR3 5AE
tel: 01497822870  e-mail 
Open:  Monday & Wednesday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.00, Sunday 11.00 - 4.00.
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Hay’s newest secondhand bookshop. Good books bought and sold - particularly philosophy, history, literature, modern fiction and children’s books.

The gentrification of Hay continues. Green Ink Booksellers is welcome as a bookshop rather than as another of the arts, crafts and clothes showrooms which increasingly clutter Chelsea-on-Wye. But the shop disappoints.

Nice bookshelves, some quite interesting stock, though with elements of books-as-decor - arranged by the colour of their spines in one corner in the basement. And there was a horror in the main room, on a table display objectifying orange-and-white Penguins, mainly of the fifties.

At its centre, a copy of 'Lady Chatterley’s Lover'. Displaying either a disdainful hope for ignorance on the part of a gullible customer, or, worse, actual ignorance on the part of the seller, the pencilled note inside read ‘first edition, £50’.

A proof copy, printed by Hazell Watson and Viney, is indeed scarce. But the first edition ran to more than a million copies. Even the first impression (printed by Western Printing Services), of which this copy was an example, numbered over 200,000 copies. Six decades later, as the original buyers downsize and decease, they readily available.

Of course, the value of a book is what someone is willing to pay for it; but for its exaggerated suggestion Green Ink gets a black mark.
  James Mackay 04.06.18

Greenways Corner Bookshop/HAY-ON-WYE/Backfold
Greenways Corner Bookshop  Phone before travelling
Backfold  Oxford Road   HAY-ON-WYE   HR3 5AJ
tel: 01497 820443  e-mail 
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Small friendly and good prices - it makes a nice first stop in the alley from the carpark to the main drag and then the "Shop without a Name" two doors down.  George Marshall 03.11.09
I always enjoy chatting with an owner who can tell a decent tale. Added to which his shop contained a number of titles which interested me. This is a place where both a reader and a collector can find books of interest. There is no real speciality in a wide range of available subjects.  Chris Harte 18.08.10
Always worth a look as limited stock but good quality. Also has for once a genuinely friendly owner!  Norman Davies 16.03.11
What a great little shop. Science fiction and Fantasy, a large sellection. Always find some great bargains. Customer friendly.  George the bookman 30.11.12
This is a nice little shop with well-chosen and interesting stock run by a very helpful proprietor.  Nicholas Pendower 12.04.14
Excellent wide ranging sensibly priced stock. Bought several books - between 60-70% cheaper than the nearby Addyman's. Friendly knowledgeable owner. Parking nearby. Well worth a detour.  The Drifter 19.04.14
The owner was most friendly and could not do enough to point me in the direction of his military/naval tomes. The shop itself isn't huge as it covers just 2 small rooms, but he does hold a few thousand books for the reader and collector. I spotted in the main room paperback fiction, crime, sci-fi, fantasy, thrillers, horror, romance, children's, classics. In the side room was where there was transport, magazines, comics, non-fiction, sport, travel, topography, gardening, art etc. I came away with 2 books at a discount and everything I viewed was priced to sell.  Laurence Batchelor 19.07.14
A nice little shop but a limited range of stock, No purchases this time and especially not one of the large china shire horses complete with harnesses ... (WHY?).  Jon Morgan 16.09.14
I'm certain, Jon, you've mixed me up with someone else. I don't sell china horses or any kind of ceramic animals.  George Greenway. 23.09.14

Hancock and Monks /HAY-ON-WYE/6 Broad Street  
Hancock and Monks   Open at advertised times
6 Broad Street    HAY-ON-WYE  HR3 5DB
tel:  01591 610555  e-mail   web
Open:  7 days 10.30 - 4.30
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Huge stock of secondhand sheet music, scores and books on music.

Hardy_s Bookstore/WELSHPOOL/7 Berriew Street
Hardy's Bookstore   Phone before travelling
7 Berriew Street  WELSHPOOL  SY21 7SQ
tel:  07939 569095    
Open: Mondy - Friday 11.00 - 2.00
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50,000 books on three floors but only the ground floor is currently open to browse. A broad spectrum of subjects available, every type of fiction and non-fiction and Welsh and other language books. Also Antique and Collectable Books and a large collection of Audio books on tape and CD. Run by the owners of Treehigh Sales the Montgomery bookstall (now closed).

Hay Cinema Bookshop Ltd /HAY-ON-WYE/Castle Street  
Hay Cinema Bookshop Ltd   Open at advertised times
Castle Street    HAY-ON-WYE  HR3 5DF
tel:  01497 820071  e-mail   web
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 6.00, Sunday 10.00 - 5.30.
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Hay's biggest bookshop with 200,000 books. Car park, wheelchair access to the ground floor, picnic garden.

Excellent holdings all of which were well arranged. Prices average. Most courteous and helpful people. Will always be on my visiting list.  Chris Harte 01.04.09
No daylight or fresh air enters this vast sepulchre of 200,000 old books. Prices and quality are variable and some sections seem to have a lot of fading unsold remainders (anyone familiar with their Charing Cross Road Quinto store will know what to expect) but its a fine place to get lost or buried. Not recommended for claustrophobes.  George Marshall 03.11.09
Enormous number and range of stock within most subjects. Prices variable though. Some bargains some definitely not. Worth a vary lengthy browse.  Norman Davies 16.03.11
As previous correspondent "worth a lengthy browse". Again knee pads required as most browsers miss the bottom shelves and bargains are known.  Corso 11.09.12
I wish this bookshop was not so far away from my home in Middle Earth! Always worth a couple of hours looking at the mixture of second hand and remaindered books. Never come away empty handed.  Rosie Gamgee 10.11.12
Excellent large shop and well laid out stock with a map available if required. Prices good for Hay and have had some real bargains here over the years. Recommended and worth a detour. Has its own car park.  The Drifter 22.08.13
Depending on what you're looking for, this is probably the best bookshop in Hay, in that there is an extensive stock, the prices are sensible and very fair and the staff are extremely helpful and cheery. I came away with a boot-load.  Nicholas Pendower 12.04.14
Huge, time-consuming, somewhere in here you will find books that you seek; but much of the stock is bland - e.g. no Graham Greene in the fiction.  James Mackay 14.06.14
For me, simply put, this is the best bookshop in Hay! Why? Well where else hands you a basket upon entry and a map upon request. The stock holding is vast, somewhere in the region of 200,000 books. I witnessed here the best selection of military / naval books outside of London. It took me 2 hours to go through their holdings just on my interests and I came away with 12 books. 10% discount was offered if you are a student, which is a nice touch. Free parking outside was available as where some discounted new books in the entrance. The basement housed some discounted remaindered books, but I found my interests catered for on the 1st floor. There is also a Francis Edwards office with a selection of antiquarian stock on the 1st floor.  Laurence Batchelor 19.07.14
Still the biggest and best in Hay and always a good starting point as the car park is free. A slight case of remainder virus , but a good stock of second hand fiction and the hardback fiction is most reasonably priced. Like others it took me a good two hours to go through. Like the Astley Book Barn it has shopping baskets which are a boon to avoid book-lovers elbow when buying.  Jon Morgan 16.09.14
Large stock but seemed mostly remainder stuff where I was browsing. Prices very reasonable. Layout a bit confusing but to be fair, they had a lot of stock. Just nothing for me. They do have a loo, which is always worth noting!  Flip M 18.03.16
The help I received from the lady at the front desk is worthy of a comment. I asked about titles of my interests and ended up getting tips about where to find rare copies from private dealers all over Britain: staggering. However, the shop itself had hardly changed from my review of eight years ago. I don't mind remainders so long as they are quality; which they were. Otherwise, I was able to fill a large bag with other purchases.  Chris Harte 25.05.17
Probably the biggest and best bookshop in Hay. (Booth's is so polished it is pickled in Aspic). As Chris Harte has mentioned, the remainders are very much in evidence. There are some quality military remainders though in PB and HB. The HB fiction was a little disappointing. Worth starting here though and moving own the through the town. I recalled that it used to take all day to get through the shops, today it took only just over 4 hours! That's progress I suppose.  Jonathan Morgan 15.09.18
The manager reports that hardback fiction has improved dramatically since the last review.  TBG2 30.07.21
This is always my first port of call when visiting the Booktown. Not only are there thousands of books but the people who run the place know what they are talking about. Everything is perfectly categorised and easy to find. I have to limit my spending here which, at times, is somewhat difficult. There seems to be regular trimming and tidying of the shelves with new stock added. My next six-monthly visit is due shortly.  Chris Harte 15.08.21

Hay-On-Wye Booksellers/HAY-ON-WYE/13-14 High Town
Hay-On-Wye Booksellers  Phone before travelling
13-14 High Town   HAY-ON-WYE   HR3 5AE
tel: 01497 820875  web 
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Went in: Asked if they had any of my specialist holdings: Told "No." I then found loads on shelves on the stairs. When the assistant bothered to get off her mobile phone customers were then served. Shop needs a lot of staff training.  Chris Harte 01.04.09
Mostly remainders at Central London prices managed by grumpy staff.  George Marshall 03.11.09
Came away with a bagful at very reasonable prices, but yes, staff are not exactly active and helpful.  The Wanderer 27.11.09
Overall worth a look but quite high prices considering condition. But persevere and you will find some goodies.  Norman Davies 16.03.11
The member of staff I spoke to was pleasant enough. Perhaps the management have read Chris Hartes reviews and taken action.  Peter Galloway 28.12.11
Worth a look, better Antiquarian stock by till, very pleasant staff.Unfortunately many of the items are stored flat on the ground and knee pads and torch required. Still one of the must visit shops!!  Corso 11.09.12
An excellent shop with wide range of stock and at, for Hay, fairly reasonable prices. Have had some bargains here over the years. Worth a detour. Parking nearby.  The Drifter 22.08.13
Well worth a visit. There is a very interesting stock, with items to suit all tastes, which is sensibly priced and well displayed. The assistant was very helpful and I very much enjoyed my visit to this shop.  Nicholas Pendower 12.04.14
A big shop, with several broad ranges of stock, some good prices, and, in my experience, helpful and friendly people.  James Mackay 14.06.14
This shop has both new and second-hand books spread in multiple rooms over 2 floors. The new / remainder stock is on the right-hand side and the 2nd hand the left-hand side downstairs and all the rooms upstairs. The shop itself its a mock tudor type and is just opposite the castle and has some nearby pay & display car spaces. I found they had medium to large holdings on military / naval books and I was pleased to make 2 purchases at a discount. Prices were reasonable even without the discount!  Laurence Batchelor 19.07.14
The soul has gone. I can only echo Laurence Batchelor's comments. Years ago we used to be able to buy a few boxes in Hay and actually make a profit. Now if you want interior design items, ladies dress shops etc. then Hay is the place.  Jill Jones 09.04.15
Sadly missed out on this one as despite being advertised as open from 9am, they were operating under winter opening hours and not opening until midday. Not sure how long that will go on for (visited second Sunday of March).  Flip M 18.03.16
Despite the fact that at least one light was out in the fiction section and the lower shelves were obscured by piles of books there was some good stuff here and its military section is good too. One of the old Guard in Hay. Long may it remain!  Jonathan Morgan 15.09.18

Hay-on-Wye Books (Trade)/HAY-ON-WYE/Gypsy Castle Lane
Hay-on-Wye Books (Trade)  Open at advertised times
Gypsy Castle Lane   HAY-ON-WYE   HR3 5PW
tel: 01497 820352  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.00 - 5.00.Friday
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Large warehouse with publishers' returns and over-stocks. Ideal for retail trade and wholesales. Other visiting times by appointment. Reg Office 13/14 High Town.

Haystacks Music and Books/HAY-ON-WYE/Backfold
Haystacks Music and Books  Phone before travelling
Backfold  Oxford Road   HAY-ON-WYE   HR3 5AJ
tel: 07527 298199 
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Appearing on no maps and literally without a name (the owner, Anthony Thomas, has still not decided what to call it) this is a one room shopfront with floor to ceiling shelves of hardbacks for £1, paperbacks for 50p and an honesty box for payment. Last time I went I picked out three books that I later found elsewhere in Hay for over £7.  George Marshall 03.11.09
Now taken over by Haystacks Music & Books - mainly music but still a large number of cheap books.  Norman Davies 19.11.11
Excellent largely music based shop with vinyl and CD's and associated books. Very good prices and some bargains to be had. Friendly owner. Recommended and worth a detour. Parking nearby.  The Drifter 22.08.13
Primarily music a the vinyl not a great deal better than an average Oxfam music store.  Jon Morgan 16.09.14
Very good music shop featuring a wide range of records and CD's and associated books. Some bargains to be had for the canny shopper. Well worth a detour.  The Drifter 27.10.14

Kingshead Books/PRESTEIGNE/45 High Street
Kingshead Books  Open at advertised times
45 High Street   PRESTEIGNE   LD8 2BE
tel: 01547 560100 
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Literary Books/MACHYNLLETH/31 Heol Maengwyn
Literary Books   Open at advertised times
31 Heol Maengwyn  MACHYNLLETH  SY20 8EB
tel:  01654 700005, mob: 07805 365439  e-mail   web   
Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.30
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A small new, used and antiquarian bookshop opened in March 2020 after selling online for many years. A wide variety of books on almost any subject from Welsh and British history to Buddhist and Hindu theology, Welsh and English poetry to a large selection of science fiction novels. Our special areas of interests are history, philosophy, religion, poetry and cookery (especially the history of food).

Also known as Literary Cat Books but NOT a cat bookshop!

A fourth bookshop has recently opened in the town. It is neat and tidy with books well classified on the shelves. There is no speciality and no dross. Pricing was slightly varied but that is not a criticism. A few rare titles but otherwise a pleasant place to browse.  Christopher Harte 29.08.21

Murder and Mayhem /HAY-ON-WYE/5 Lion Street  
Murder and Mayhem   Open at advertised times
5 Lion Street    HAY-ON-WYE  HR3 5AA
tel:  01497 821613  e-mail   web  
Open: Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 5.30, also some Sundays
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About 5,000 books specialising in mystery, detective fiction and true crime.

Another part of the Addyman empire and situated opposite the main shop. A really fascinating collection of books about subjects noted in the shop's name. Although not part of my interests the stock was very varied and I enjoyed browsing.  Chris Harte 27.07.12
Very good well displayed stock but oh the prices! Cheaper available elsewhere if you look. Parking nearby but, no doubt, if you can afford this you will be being ferried around in a chauffeur driven limo.  The Drifter 22.08.13
Nicely specialist in stock, but some mouth-wateringly ambitious prices for, e.g. Penguin Simenons. A crime against realism is being committed by whoever decides them.  James Mackay 14.06.14
A pretty little shop in the center of Hay and the type which would fascinate children. If one was looking for Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes then this would be the one for thee.  Laurence Batchelor 19.07.14
Nice shop but stupid prices. I spotted a dog eared copy of mark Sanderson's 'Snow Hill' which I bought last week for £2.00, priced here at £6.50. Insane and unjustified. Many run of the mill in terms of quality , paperbacks were at this price. It reflects the way in which Hay has gone 'up market' with several old favourite bookshops replaced by posh boutiques and distressed orange box and galvanised bucket shops. It is also a town afflicted with the curse of the remainder...  Jon Morgan 16.09.14
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose! Loads of remainders everywhere. I even bought one Most of the pile was marked £4.95 (Full price £7.99) so not cheap but one of the pile had a £3.95 sticker - yippee saved a quid!) Owned by Addyman so the remainder virus infection has obviously spread.  Jonathan Morgan 15.09.18
The most dangerous shop in Hay. And I have the receipts to prove it. Glorious find.  LPGT 14.05.19

Outcast Books/HAY-ON-WYE/15a Broad Street
Outcast Books  Phone before travelling
15a Broad Street   HAY-ON-WYE   HR3 5DF
tel: 01497 821292 
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Small general stock, with emphasis on applied social studies, humanistic psychology, psychotherapy, counselling and human relations.

Set back from the road (which must save a small fortune in business rates) this small shop has an emphasis on social studies and other similar works. Not for the collector. However, it must be noted that prices were rather on the steep side.  Chris Harte 27.07.12
Outcast books ceased to be around 1 year ago, although the sign remains as the new owner cannot afford to replace it. The new shop, situated in the same unit set back from Belmont Road is now called Belle Books. It is a small unit of 1 room selling the following: sci-fi, fantasy, horror, supernatural, true crime, detective fiction, history, topography, biography, military, transport, paranormal etc. Upon our visit on a roasting Monday morning the owner was most pleasant and engaged in conversation retelling stories of when he worked in the shipyards. Pricing was very reasonable and so we came away with 4 books. This is definitely a book shop to support in Hay on Wye.  Laurence Batchelor 19.07.14

Paul Haynes Rare Books/HAY-ON-WYE/Rock House
Paul Haynes Rare Books  Appointment necessary
Rock House  Newport Street   HAY-ON-WYE   HR3 5BG
tel: 07881 922916  e-mail  web 
Open:  By Appointment
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A small stock of quality antiquarian and rare books. A member of the ABA and ILAB, exhibiting regularly at Book Fairs internationally.

Broad range of worthy antiquarian items as to be expected, owner a bit of a curmudgeon.  Isidore Ducasse 22.11.14

Pen_rallt Gallery Bookshop/MACHYNLLETH/3 Glasfryn, Heol Penrallt,
Pen'rallt Gallery Bookshop   Open at advertised times
3 Glasfryn, Heol Penrallt,    MACHYNLLETH  SY20 8AJ
tel:  01654 700559  e-mail   web
Open:  Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10.00 - 12.30, 1.30 - 4.00
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Mostly non-fiction, 25% new, specialising in photography, with the arts, environment, topography, natural history, illustrated and children's books. We order new books and search for used for customers. We also exhibit photography and book illustration work. We organise book related events for each first Thursday of the month. We do not sell on the internet.

Pleasant visit, nice selection of quality titles - no scruffy pot-boilers in here! With the various other book attractions in the town, worth a visit.  Anthony 14.08.13
Do not make the mistake of walking in and thinking this is just an Art Gallery. It is much more. There is a quality second-hand bookshop at the rear with some really good titles on the shelves. The rooms are light and airy which adds to the ambience. The stock is general but with an emphasis on art and artists.  Christopher Harte 29.08.21

Poetry Bookshop/HAY-ON-WYE/The Pavement
The Poetry Bookshop  Open at advertised times
The Pavement   HAY-ON-WYE   HR3 5BU
tel: 01497 821 812  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 11.00 - 5.00.
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We try to cover every aspect of our speciality from the antiquarian and the scholarly to contemporary work: supplying rare, out of print, new and used poetry books from our shop in Hay-on-Wye and now online.

Magnificent shop for any poetry enthusiast. Able to supply most poetry needs however esoteric. Friendly, knowledgeable owner too.  Norman Davies 16.03.11
Excellent poetry shop with a superb choice of books at reasonable prices. Friendly knowledgable owner. Recommended and worth a detour. Parking not far away.  The Drifter 22.08.13
Recently moved t  r>    Recently moved to The Pavement TBG 30.11.17

Richard Booth_s Bookshop/HAY-ON-WYE/44 Lion Street
Richard Booth's Bookshop  Open at advertised times
44 Lion Street   HAY-ON-WYE   HR3 5AA
tel: 01497 820322  e-mail  web 
Open:  Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 5.30, Sunday 11.00 - 5.00.
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A very large general stock.

Has seen better days. Huge stock but little in the way of antiquarian. Front counter person was already bored by lunchtime and fobbed off any queries.  Chris Harte 01.04.09
They use sticky price labels on all the books' back covers - difficult to remove without damaging paperbacks.  George Hale 08.07.10
Completely refurbished and unrecognisable from previous visits. Decent prices vast general selection particularly good arts subjects. Welcoming cafe en suite.  Norman Davies 16.03.11
This shop has now changed hands. The interior has been transformed by much needed investment, and there is now a café at the rear of the shop. The stock is not as extensive nor in some ways as interesting as it was under the previous owner - but the facelift has made this shop a pleasure to visit.  Peter Galloway 28.12.11
A very impressive shop with an excellent atmosphere, the vocal interruptions from the noisy staff in the adjoining café being its only downside. There is a good, large general stock, which is fairly priced.  Nicholas Pendower 12.04.14
Quite a positive change from the past - large diverse stock at, for Hay, fairly reasonable prices. Worth a detour. Parking nearby.  The Drifter 19.04.14
The shop (and its café) are lovely places to pass a lot of time, and the stock is large and good enough to ensure that something here is what you seek.  James Mackay 14.06.14
Externally the shop is looking rather tired as many of the animal titles were missing from the facade. Inside this is the best bookshop if you wish to loiter and potter around for some hours as there is plenty of comfy seating and good upstairs ventilation (take note Hay-on-Wye Cinema & Francis Edwards!). However this is the only bookshop I have ever visited in the UK whereby upon making multiple purchases the joint shop owner (a lady) refused point blank to offer any kind of discount and tried instead to get me to pay for a bag to put my many purchases in, despite me having my own strong bag with me! Appalling customer service and clearly this is the pretentious bookshop many have warned about existing in Hay. Overall a pretty bookshop, which didn't hold the same extensive range of stock on military/naval books which Hay cinema had and of course here in Booth's the experience left a lot to be desired.  Laurence Batchelor 19.07.14
This is a beautiful shop which has been transformed in recent years. It has a nice cafe and comfy chairs but is almost too nice, I yearn for the piles of books and lack of organsiation. The basement used to be a spider web festooned, unlit area and the rear sheds were a mine of interesting stock. These days they have their own price labels with barcodes and everything is polished and organised to within an inch of its life. I think the golden days of Hay have now passed! Ou sont les neiges d'antan?  Jon Morgan 16.09.14
Large, neat and well organised. And with a large cafe on site, seemed ideal. Wrong. All staff appeared rude and with a nasty smell under their nose. 2 girls at the back were chatting and swearing to each other while I was browsing. Prices were ridiculous. Example: 8 pounds for a recent used hardback Schwarzenegger. autobiography! And that was in the "Sale" section. Almost everything priced similarly. I did find 2 items at a reasonable price and after paying the woman at the till, I had to ask for a bag to protect my purchases. Very begrudgingly given a small brown paper bag. Awful shop, awful attitude. Never felt so unwelcome or unvalued in a shop before.  Flip M 18.03.16
"Flip M" has put it perfectly. Those thoughts have just been confirmed by my visit. Drif once said that Hay was where books went to die. I think I've found the graveyard.  Chris Harte 25.05.17
The thing which really annoys me when I visit here is the arrogance and pontification of the staff. OK, so I might not be at their perceived intellectual level but I'm still a customer. Even worse when I got to the counter and produced some £20 notes: "Oh, we don't take cash here. Don't you have a card? [actually, no]. The sign saying 'no cash' was small and on the exit counter. So much for customer relations. After getting somewhat irate I was told: "Well do you have the right money, then?" I left having given them an extra 20p as no change was given. Sometimes, just sometimes .....................  Chris Harte 15.08.21

Willis Antiques/MACHYNLLETH/54 Heol Maengwyn
Willis Antiques    Open at advertised times
54 Heol Maengwyn    MACHYNLLETH  SY20 8DT
tel:  01634 700430 
Open: Monday - Saturday, mornings - 5.00
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For what in reality is a junk shop there are a surprising number of books on various shelves. One complete wall was covered and it was fairly easy to check the titles. You could just possibly find that missing elusive book you have been after for years - I did.  Christopher Harte 29.08.21