In Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books, author Paul Collins details his experiences in the Welsh village of Hay-on-Wye, population 1500, the "Town of Books" that boasted 40 bookstores. Collins and his author/artist wife and their young son moved to Hay from San Francisco, and fascinating is their journey and experience in this small town. Collins peppers his account with passages from obscure and often out-of-print books. He also describes the town, the houses he and his wife consider purchasing, quite a bit about British culture, and, of course, the town's most fascinating characters.
It is quite a fascinating read.
My favorite quotation is found on page 4, attributed to Temple Bar magazine:
We may, in fact, divide our fellow-creatures into two branches--those who read books and those who do not.
I chose this book because it was one on my friend Natalie's list. Nattie chose this book as one that described a part of who she was: a book-lover. In this mutual love of volumes of the printed word, she and I found each other to be, truly, kindred spirits. We were often emailing each other about books, and trading bookerly comments on each others' blogs. She and I used to trade pictures of what we affectionately referred to as "Mt. TBR" (and in fact, she introduced me to that particular phrase). Just for the record: She won. Her cute little hobbit apartment was stacked with volumes and volumes. It made my own leaning tower of TBRs seem puny by comparison!