10 of the world’s best book towns

Bellprat, Catalonia, Spain In many ways, this small village is the ideal book town. It is in a beautiful rural setting in Catalonia’s Anoia region, yet only 90km from Barcelona. It has an appealing medieval centre and its population is enthusiastic about throwing open its doors to book-loving visitors. Bellprat is also the first book town in Catalonia (the second in Spain, after Urueña). During the town’s main festival – on the first weekend in June – several village houses are temporarily turned into secondhand bookshops, to complement the many stalls set out in a covered market. The books on sale are overwhelmingly in Catalan, however. As well as promoting the village, the book town label is used for good causes: at a recent festival, there was a book swap in which books could be exchanged in return for donations to a food bank. Other book-based events range from conferences, round tables and readings to events run by independent regional publishers. The atmospheric Cal Pinyota on Plaza Catalunya (on Airbnb) is a bookshop-hotel with bedrooms on various themes, including the detective novel (with a special nod to the region’s most famous fictional detective, Pepe Carvalho), historical fiction, and travel. It… Read full this story

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