Gregory Kirschling
April 25, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Paul Collins
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it a B+

In 2000, the San Francisco-based author packed up his 2,000-title library and moved with his wife and child to Hay-on-Wye in Wales, eccentric home to 1,500 people, 40 old bookstores, and untold millions of dusty books. (That breaks down, as Collins notes, to ”thousands of books for every man, woman, child, and sheepdog.”) Reading of his languid sojourn in Hay is pleasantly akin to browsing one of its bookstores, because Collins — a McSweeney’s cohort and very oddly read bibliophile — delivers a funny excerpt from a forgotten old volume (e.g., 1867’s Wonderful Inventions and 1940’s I Was Hitler’s Maid) for every occasion.

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