SIXPENCE HOUSE: LOST IN A TOWN OF BOOKS (2014) 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… Nonfiction
Book Review

SIXPENCE HOUSE: LOST IN A TOWN OF BOOKS (2014)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Writer: Paul Collins; Genre: Nonfiction

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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Originally posted Apr 25, 2003 Published in issue #706-707 Apr 25, 2003 Order article reprints