The greatest waste of time since coals were first taken to Newcastle? Perhaps! But we think it could work. Let me explain more...
Hay is a treasure trove of second hand books. There are over two dozen second hand book sellers in our town of fewer than 1500 men, women and children, all selling a cornucopia of adventure, wisdom and excitement. The second hand books, along with the attendant Hay Festival, and the friendly people who have made their home here because of them, are the main reason we moved to Hay in the first place.
There are very few books you can't get in Hay. But one slice of the market which is paradoxically thin on the ground is a selection of new books - with the exception of the world-class Booth Books, most of the shops in town focus solely on the second-hand market. Great if you're looking for a lovely copy of "100 Years of Solitude" with an authentic 70's cover - not so good if you're after the latest Naomi Klein.
The other gap in the market in terms of "entertainment" is CDs and DVDs - again we have the awesome Tangled Parrot, and Haystacks in Backfold, but not many options if you need the new One Direction CD for your niece or nephew. And that, friends, is where Hive comes in.
Hive, for those of you unfamiliar, can basically be seen as an ethical alternative to Amazon for your home entertainment needs. They get brand new books, CDs, DVDs and the like to your door in the blink of an eye at competitive prices - all the while supporting high street shops in the UK. For every purchase, you can nominate a bookshop who'll then receive a percentage of the cost of your items (we hope you'll pick us!). You can either get the items delivered to you direct, or have them sent to us - we'll look after them until you can collect them (and no, we don't open them first to see what you've been buying).
All in all it's an amazing win-win. We would never want to take sales away from the incredible second hand book shops that have made Hay world famous, but if you're looking for something they don't stock, here's a way of doing it without resorting to the dreaded Big A. Let us know what you think!