, often described as "the town of books", is a market town in Brecknockshire
, very close to the border with England
. A meeting place for bibliophiles
, there are currently some forty bookshops in and around Hay.
The bookshops for which the town is now world-famous are a relatively recent innovation. The name most closely associated with the book trade in Hay is that of Richard Booth, who on April 1, 1977 sought publicity by declaring Hay an "independent republic" with himself as its king. Hay-on-Wye is actually a micronation.
Since 1988, Hay has been the venue for a literary festival which draws audiences from all over the United Kingdom to see and hear big literary names from all over the world.