What’s a book town, in reality ?
The concept has been created in 1964, by Richard Booth, in Hay-on- Wye, Wales. He suggests a model example and sustainable rural and touristic development, which has since been adopted in several countries like Belgium and Germany. According to Richard Booth definition, a Book Town is a small rural town or village of historic interest or of scenic beauty in which second-hand and antiquarian bookshops are concentrated.
Currently, there are 8 book towns in France: Bécherel, Montolieu, Fontenoy-la-Joute, Cuisery, La Charité sur Loire, Montmorillon, Ambierle, and Esquelbecq. Six villages are gathered to form “European network Book Towns”: Brevevoort (Netherlands), Fjaerland (Norway), Hay-on-Wye (Wales), Montolieu (France), Redu (Belgium) and Wünsdorf (Germany).
These villages welcomes, in a rural or historic setting, several book professional. To that may be added events and activities organized that enable each village to radiate widely and attract visitors on site from all backgrounds, which inevitably impacts on the cultural and economic life of the region.