Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books

Sixpence House Lost in a Town of Books Paul Collins and his family abandoned the hills of San Francisco to move to the Welsh countryside to move in fact to the village of Hay on Wye the Town of Books that boasts fifteen hundred inhabita

  • Title: Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books
  • Author: PaulCollins
  • ISBN: 9781582344041
  • Page: 392
  • Format: Paperback
  • Paul Collins and his family abandoned the hills of San Francisco to move to the Welsh countryside to move, in fact, to the village of Hay on Wye, the Town of Books that boasts fifteen hundred inhabitants and forty bookstores Taking readers into a secluded sanctuary for book lovers, and guiding us through the creation of the author s own first book, Sixpence House becomePaul Collins and his family abandoned the hills of San Francisco to move to the Welsh countryside to move, in fact, to the village of Hay on Wye, the Town of Books that boasts fifteen hundred inhabitants and forty bookstores Taking readers into a secluded sanctuary for book lovers, and guiding us through the creation of the author s own first book, Sixpence House becomes a heartfelt and often hilarious meditation on what books mean to us.

    One thought on “Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books”

    1. Why do I read these books? It is like a sickness. Paul Collins says: Are me & my wife the only Americans who don't own or drive cars? (YES PAUL YOU ARE JUST THAT SPECIAL AND DIFFERENT. ALSO YOU ARE THE ONLY AMERICAN NAMED "PAUL." TRUE FACT.) Paul Collins says: 890 square feet would "barely accommodate" a 1-bedroom apt. in the USA. Paul Collins says American grocery stores are never ever ever out of anything ever. Paul Collins says EVERY AMERICAN HAS DIAMONDS FOR TEETH AND BATHES IN PEARLS DI [...]

    2. Sixpence House is ostensibly Collins’ story of attempting to move his family from San Francisco to Hay-on-Wye, a small Welsh village with 1,500 inhabitants and 40 bookstores. Hay-on-Wye is an interesting place, and in the right hands, that story could be enough. Luckily for us, Paul Collins is an inveterate reader and collector of obscure tidbits. The story of the move and his time in Wales thus becomes a framework from which to hang some of the most fascinating asides it has ever been my plea [...]

    3. Paul Collins and his family moved from San Francisco to Hay-on-Wye, a small Welsh village with 40 antiquarian bookstores. Although Collins was born in the States, his parents were British and he had family in the area. He and his wife were looking for a place in the country to raise their toddler son. Their search for a home took them to many stone houses--money pits that were hundreds of years old and in questionable condition.Paul worked in a large antiquarian bookstore while he was going thro [...]

    4. The shortest version I can possibly give you is that Sixpence House is the latest -- and last -- bust in the long line of books I read because Nancy Pearl recommended them with great enthusiasm. I reject her as a competent adviser on what to read next, and vow never again to pick up any book just on her say-so. I have spent the last two years dutifully listing books to read based on her wildly popular Book Lust series, but no more. It is time to realize that when, out of the 150 or so books I've [...]

    5. This is a book for people who love to read and if they also are enchanted with Wales and wish they could live there, it's even better. Paul Collins is a writer who evidently has been doing quite well because he was able to afford to move with his wife and young son from California to the little Welsh village of Hay-on-Wye, known as the town of books. It's true. I was there about 15 years ago and it was like dying and going to heaven. There were dozens of used book stores - most of them housed in [...]

    6. Paul Collins moved his wife and baby from San Francisco to the small Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye. He wanted to give his son the chance to grow up as he had – in the country, free to roam the hills, exploring as any boy would love to do. But Hay-on-Wye is not just a small Welsh village. It is “The Town of Books” – with only 1500 residents and forty bookshops (almost all of them specializing in used / antiquarian books). This is a memoir of their family adventure.Collins was born in America, [...]

    7. When booksellers and bookmen get around to writing their book about books, I have come to find, they often fail to trust their materials – books. Rather than books, bookmen (to use the old fashioned, sexist term) feel compelled to tell us about famous people they’ve met, engage in literary criticism, or persist in telling us about themselves at tedious length. And “Sixpence House” is another example of the failure of the genre. “Sixpence House” is not the worst book-on-books book I [...]

    8. What a delightful book! Though if you asked me what it's about I'd stumble around looking for the right words because it's a little hard to pigeon-hole. Not only is it a book about books, beloved and forgotten, it's also a peek into a unique location (Hay-on-Wye, where books go to die), a book about writing, an adventure of contrasts between what's American and what's British, as well as a completely engaging memoir. Fascinating, thought-provoking, and often laugh out-loud funny, I loved every m [...]

    9. I wish this book had been more about books and less about the author's personal experiences. The rating should be 2.5 stars.

    10. This book about the author's year-long stay, circa 2000, in the small Welsh village of Hay is quirky, reflective, and highly entertaining. With his wife and young son, Paul Collins moves to Hay, a "book town" that is home to 1500 residents and 40 book stores - one book store for every 37.5 people! While there, the author is finalizing his first published book, and hoping to make Hay his long-term home. These pages reveal his abiding love and knowledge for dusty, old tomes from earlier centuries [...]

    11. Collins moves his family from San Francisco to the book town of Hay-On-Wye, Wales. The young couple plan on buying a house and raising their son there as Paul awaits his first book to be published. In the meantime, he works for "The King of Hay" in one of the towns many bookstores, meets the Hay Festival organizer and many of the locals and attempts to find a house that won't fall down on them.This is my second read of Sixpence House and I love Collins' writing and also his perspective, as an Am [...]

    12. This started out really good with a breezy style and cool chapter headings in the style of old novels. Much ruminating on the state of reading, books, literacy and popular culture with more interesting quotes than I cared to write down in my journal. I particularly recall the author's discussion with a realtor who told him that too many visible books in a house actually decreases its sales appeal!! Not in my eyes, that's for sure. Unfortunately the book became something of a let-down with too mu [...]

    13. Had to force myself to finish. Was really no point to this book. Found the writer to be egotistical & self absorbed in his own intellect & self professed quirkiness

    14. A very pleasant, comfortable read. Like a conversation with a really nice, interesting dinner guest. Old books, old houses, Wales, and lots of quotes from obscure literary works.

    15. Recensione originale: sonnenbarke.wordpress/201Avevo molte aspettative su questo libro. Paul Collins, uno scrittore americano che sta per pubblicare il suo primo libro, si trasferisce con la famiglia a Hay-on-Wye, Galles, noto come “il paese dei libri” in quanto conta una quarantina di librerie per poche migliaia di abitanti. Le premesse, dunque, c’erano tutte: che curiosità conoscere le avventure di questa famiglia in un paesino così caratteristico! Un libro sui libri (o almeno, sulle l [...]

    16. The writing is that of an overeducated white male who has a genuine interest in oddball historical accounts and literary outliers. I appreciate the intelligent, witty writing and the author's commentary on living abroad. He throws in many completely random little tidbits of history and literature, many of which are splendid. Some of which fall a little flat. Upon viewing his photo, I have determined that Collins is someone I would have mocked in high school for being pretentious. As adults we ca [...]

    17. Perhaps the two stars are because this wasn't very interesting. Perhaps they're because I'm jealous. The author was just casually browsing in the biggest used bookstore in Hay-on-Wye, fell into conversation with the owner, and just like that was offered the job of organizing the American fiction section. That would never happen to me, and it's not fair. hmmf.

    18. You will like this book if:1. You are an Anglophile2. You appreciate false dichotomous thinking. In other words, comparing one thing to another in shallow, broad generalizations. i.e. the culture of the US vs. that of Wales/Britain3. You are a white male and/or are incapable of viewing your own luck through the lens of cultural awareness. See ending of book for a truly ignorant example.

    19. If you loved A Year in Provence, this is right up your alley. But this is not as clever or as funny or as interesting.However, I'm glad I read it, since we just spent three days in Hay-on-Wye, slightly less than the author.

    20. This is an almost-good book. The first and last three chapters are charming, but the 14 chapters in between seem to just mark time.Paul Collins moves with his wife Jennifer and toddler son Morgan from San Francisco to Hay, a town in Wales they had visited many times. Hay boasts a small population of a few thousand and 40 book shops, the perfect place for two writers to settle down.About half way through, I wanted to abandon it, but I soldiered on because Collins spent a lot of chapters describin [...]

    21. The subtitle of this book is “Lost in a town of books.” “Lost” is an interesting choice of words. Collins might have said “immersed,” but then, where would that sense of adventure, of curiosity and discovery be? From his own antiquarian interests, he is able to draw us into speculations about time, human connection, history, and above all, serendipity. And all of this is imparted with a very personal sense of intimacy. Collins talks about his childhood literary romances (Rockets, Mis [...]

    22. Paul Collins came to the town of Hay on Wye to find a home and left without one, which was rather disappointing for Anglophile readers who were hoping it would work out.  His stories of his time there, however, are quite entertaining. "Yost rightly sensed that many people are partial to the notion that, like St. Louis housewives with a Ouija board, all writers are somehow mere vessels for Truth and Beauty when they compose.  That we are not really in control.  This is a variation on that twee [...]

    23. I remember starting this book when I first bought it, but I never finished it. I don't know why. I remember liking it. Maybe I was reading too many other books at the time. Anyhow, I decided to pick it up again and this time finished it within a few days. I loved every minute of it. I'm a tad familiar with Paul Collins because of his "Collins Library" series put out by McSweeney's. The series consists of forgotten, out-of-print literature that Collins has discovered. The books are all entertaini [...]

    24. For an Anglophile and bibliophile (i.e. me, being both), this book was pure brain candy. As I wrote earlier in an update, it is a book I felt like disappearing into, and of course it made me desperately want to visit Hay-on-Wye, the little town on the Welsh border where the book is set, and which has some 40 bookshops, out of a population of 1500. How quaint, how anachronistic, how wonderful.The book doesn’t have much action, which I had no problem with, but is basically about how the author a [...]

    25. This book is a gem. For one thing, the author and his wife don't own a car (I forget which) doesn't even have a driver's license. That makes them heroes for me to start. And the author has such a lovely way of inserting obscure tidbits about odd books he has come across in his life (which is why this is shelved in Lit Crit). He also manages to get in a bit about the publishing process as his first book is just about to go to press as he is writing this one. [return][return]And of course, there i [...]

    26. Loved this book, loads of fun! Collins & his wife & baby leave San Francisco & head to the Welsh countryside, to live in the village of Hay-on-Wye. I've been to Hay-on-Wye & it really is a town with more books than people! Too cool. The book covers the family's search for a house to buy, along with Collins' adventures as a writer & helper in a bookstore owned by the town's resident wealthy eccentric. Collins writes about weird old books he's read & a lot about differences [...]

    27. Brīnišķīgs brīvā laika lasāmais! Apēdu divās dienās un priecātos par papildporciju, ja tāda būtu.Amerikāņu rakstnieku pāris izdomā pagriezt dzīvi pa 180 grādiem, un pārcelties uz leģendām apvīto, katra sevi cienoša grāmattārpa svētceļojumu galamērķi - burvīgo grāmatu pilsēteli Velsā - Hay-on-Wye.Stāsts par pašu pilsētu, tās iemītniekiem, par dzīvi ar grāmatām, par britu vs amerikāņu īpatnībām, bet visam pāri - par grāmatām. Autoram ir ļoti īpat [...]

    28. what a perfectly charming book. the author is witty and peppers the narrative with amusing anecdotes and passages that he's collected from various books that he's rescued over the years. of all the books i've read about books and book-lovers this one seems to ring the most true. truly, here is someone who has a deep and abiding passion for books of all kinds and gives each its due. even better, this particular book was one that i myself had been scouring shelves for for many months, making it al [...]

    29. I really thought this was a novel when I picked it up, because of the title and cover. I liked a couple things about this book. Some of the book trivia was interesting, learning about Hay in Wales was nice, and he is a good writer. It is the kind of book that definitely takes you someplace else very charming, and so reading it has a good feeling. But it's also one of the most pretentious books I've read. He has an attitude of -- because I read books I'm so much better, because I read THESE books [...]

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