Do you have a book town?

Redu snap

A book town is a town or village with a large number of used book or antiquarian book stores. These stores, as well as literary festivals, attract bibliophile tourists.

Well in Belgium we have TWO book towns!

We have one in the French-speaking part, in Redu, and one in the Flemish-speaking part of Belgium, in Damme. I’ve only visited Redu myself but it was over 10 years ago so I hope to visit it again in the future.

Redu is a small historic village in the Belgian Ardennes and became a “Book Town” or a “Village du Livre” in 1984.  It was a teeny tiny village of only 400 citizens who organised the first book fair in this region. Nowadays there are 24(!) bookshops in this rural town. Every year there are over 200.000 visitors from all over the world who come to this little book village, situated some 130 km from Brussels, the capital of Belgium (the closest airport however is in Charleroi).

Map Redu

In the Easter weekend (15-17 April) there’s the Book Festival (Fête du Livre) where you can find 40 exposants and there’s also the Night of Books in August.

One of the bookshops is De Eglantier which sells books on various subjects in Dutch, German and French. On the top floor of this shop there’s a whole English section too:

Crazy castle bookshop

Crazy Castle offers i.a. a large selection of English and American litterature and history.

If you’re Belgian, you can even sell books to one of these bookstores in this village. There’s a contact form on the website where you can fill out the books you have and want to sell and ALL the book stores receive it and can contact you if they’re interested.

You’ll have to agree with me that having more than twenty bookshops where you can find secondhand and antiquarian books is the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend. And if you ever go there, there’s also the Euro Space Center in the vicinity so it doesn’t have to be only a bookish getaway.

I gathered all the information about Redu from the following websites: www.belgium-tourism.be,  www.booktownredu.eu, and www.Redu-villagedulivre.be.

So do you have a book town in your country? I’d love to hear! You don’t know? You might want to check the list I found on Wikipedia listing 40 cities/countries.

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37 thoughts on “Do you have a book town?

  1. There’s a booktown in my country but I’ve not had a chance to visit it yet since I don’t drive. It’s something I shall do once I have lots more money!

    My city was the first City of Literature though which is cool and so we have lots of bookish events and tons of bookshops.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my.. I want to book flights now! 🙂
    You come across the most interesting stuff… I have learned about so many new and interesting things for myself through you in relation to books… You’re the Deliverer of Interesting Book Facts! 🙂

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    • I think Scotland is more interesting though and closer to you.. not enough English books here. Thank you for your compliment 😘 I like random bookish stuff myself so if I come across something that I find interesting I want to share 😊

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  3. 24 bookstores! I need to go there!

    I’m not sure about book towns here. The town I live in has one indie bookstores and one used bookstore, which seem to get ok but not great traffic. The library is well-used though.

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  4. i live about 90 minutes drive from a town that calls itself The Book Capital because of the number of bookstores – second hand and antiquarian. The town is Hay on Wye which is the location of an annual literary festival that is now a huge event attracting speakers of the calibre of President Bill Clinton.

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  5. I had heard about this before; it definitely makes me wish I were still living in Europe so I could visit. 😉 I checked but there are none in Argentina, but I’m not really surprised by that. Although they do have a ‘book tank’ in Buenos Aires, which is pretty interesting.

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  6. I love the idea of a book town and Redu sounds really good. I don’t think we have that in Kenya though I live in Nairobi where most of literature activities take place. We have theaters, city-wide book clubs and events such as ‘reading in unusual places’. The last time I participated, we actually went to a brothel. Terrifying but unique experience lol. There is also an international annual literature festival in September. Not sure if that makes it a book town though.

    Great post Inge!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh I love this ❤ We are pretty blessed to have multiple independent and used book stores here in Portland 🙂 There is no shortage. You can also enter almost any thrift shop and find a nice selection. We also have Powell's the world's largest independently owned book store that occupies a full block. So this city is pretty book friendly 😉

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