Book village

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bookstore in Hay, Welsh, the world's first book village
Antiquarian bookshop in Bredevoort
Antiquarian bookshop in Langenberg
Self-service bookstore in Fjaerland, Norway
Fontenoy-la-joute, France

Book or book villages are places with a particularly high number of second-hand bookshops , for which they are usually well known. Often these are places with little economic prospects that have discovered a special initiative for economic development in the book . With the wide range of several second-hand bookshops, potential buyers should be attracted to the village who would not come because of a few shops. This creates additional jobs for the population. The aim is also that other local providers, especially the hospitality industry , benefit from visitors to the antiquarian bookshop.


The world's first book village is remote in Wales . Richard Booth opened a second-hand bookshop in the village of Hay-on-Wye in 1961 using the contents of a container full of books brought from New York . Today the town, which has less than two thousand inhabitants, has 25 second-hand bookshops. Many of them specialize in individual topics. The place attracts a lot of tourists. The tourism is further promoted through book events.

In accordance with Hay's concept, further book villages have subsequently emerged in Europe and occasionally on other continents. The book villages are organized in the IOB, the International Organization of Book Towns.

The first book village in Germany and the German-speaking area was founded in September 1997 . Mühlbeck and the neighboring town of Friedersdorf in the Anhalt-Bitterfeld district now have around nine bookshops with less than three thousand inhabitants. The cornerstone was formed by 70,000 books that were collected across Germany. Today there are around a million books on offer.

List of book villages

Book village / town country founding year Number of bookstores Website
Bécherel France 1989 13 Website
Bredevoort Netherlands 1993 around 20 Website
Cuisery France 1999 11 Website
Dalmellington United Kingdom 1997 Project finished -
Dams Belgium 1997 8th Website
Fjærland Norway 1995 12 Website
Fontenoy-la-Joûte France 1996 13 Website
Hay-on-Wye United Kingdom 1961 25th Website
Kampung Buku Malaysia 1997 ? -
Kembuchi Children's Picture-Book Village Japan 1991 ? -
La Charité-sur-Loire France 2000 7th Website
Langenberg Germany 1998 7th Website
Miyawaga Children's Book Village Japan ? ? -
Montereggio Italy 1990s 12 Website (only book festivals?)
Montmorillon France 2000 13 Website
Montolieu France 1989 15th Website
Mühlbeck / Friedersdorf Germany 1997 5 Website (with a downward trend)
Müllenbach Germany 2001 4th Website
Nevada Gold Cities Book Town United States 1998 14th Website
Purgstall Austria 2000 1 Website
Redu Belgium 1984 15th Website
Saint-Pierre-de-Clages Switzerland 1993 11 Website
Sidney Canada 1995 6th Website
Southern Highlands BOOKtrail Australia 2000 18th Website
Stillwater ( Minnesota ) United States 1993 ? Website
Sysmä Finland 1997 ? ? (Project probably finished)
Tvedestrand Norway 2003 approx 8 Website
Urueña Spain 2007 approx. 11 Website
Wünsdorf Waldstadt Germany 1998 4th Website
Wigtown United Kingdom 1997 approx. 14 Website

Individual evidence

  1. according to MDR Kultur from October 5, 2017: "The book in the digital age"

Web links