So, last Wednesday, the day before everyone left May's retreat, John drove everyone to the Booktown in Montolieu. They have over 15 bookstores, a museum of the book, a huge gallery space cooperative called the Centre D'Art et de Litterature, where the artists and text artists of our group had fun, as well as various other places such as the typography space, an illustration gallery. The list goes on and on. The place is a trip. We'll upload photos of the picnic amongst the cactus garden as well as other stuff taken by the attendees when everyone has sent us their photos!
Anyway, we just wanted to post some links to the rest of the Booktowns in Europe, as we intend to visit them all at some stage in the coming years, and there doesn't seem to be a consistent site listing of them all. So, here they are:
France has the most Booktown's in Europe, six, with places like Spain having just one, directed by Fundacion Siglo para las Artes in Valladolid, in the North. Here's the French ones, other than Monotolieu. They're all further north:
Becherel, Fontenoy-La-Joute, (this place has 280 inhabitants and can still fit 18 bookstores, one art store, one paper maker, and a calligraphy store in it. ) La Charite-Sur-Loire, (a UNESCO protected village) Montmorillon, Cuisery (they have a book market the first Sunday of every month).
Hay-On-Wye - Wales (They were the first Booktown, founded by Richard Booth in 1962. They have 35 bookshops and 60 other independent stores. They also have one of the world's biggest book festivals every year. This year it's from the 21st of May until the 31st. Hay-on-Wye is a small (pop. 1300) town with an estimated 2 million books!)
Wigtown - Scotland (over quarter of a million books to choose from...)
Redu (They get over 200,000 people every year)
Saint-Pierre-De-Clages (in the heart of the Swiss Alps, they have some cool churches too)
Fjaerland (that's it in the photo below!)
Mellosa (Right beside the Prime minister's place, this one's also a Peace Booktown)
Votikvere (can't find a link?)
Went on line to find one in the US. Are there more?:
Stillwater (here's their amusing story: " Stillwater, as a small town with 35 booksellers, had developed sufficiently by 1994 to encourage us to petition Richard Booth, King of Hay-on-Wye, Lord Protector of All Booktowns, for official Booktownstatus. In a flurry of faxes, letters, applications, testimonials and gifts to King Richard, we attempted to get him to visit Stillwater, a requirement under the Booktown bylaws. It was not until Tom Loome made a personal pilgrimage to Hay-on-Wye in March of 1994 that the King agreed to consider the matter and follow up with a personal visit. The rest is history. In a ceremony attended by the mayor and other city notables, Stillwater was declared the First Booktown in North America by King Richard Booth on August 26, 1994."
If any of you out there know of other Booktowns, tell us, and we'll upload links to them too!