Once described by Bill Clinton as “The Woodstock of the mind”, the Hay Literary Festival features the biggest names in the arts and literature, sciences and academia. And not only these. 

Tucked away between the luxury clothing exhibitors and the gourmet food and drink stands, a Rebound Books workshop sets out its stall. Upcycled journals and notepads, cards, diaries and bookmarks are placed on display.  

Throughout the year, Rebound Books is a quiet hub of industry. The workshop can be found in the eaves of The Muse, a grand old Edwardian building rooted in the heart of Brecon, more recently reclaimed as a cultural centre for the town. But for two weeks each summer, they pack up their stock and decamp a few miles down the road to Hay-on-Wye.  

The workshop specialises in turning unloved books into beautiful treasures - the only project of its kind in the country.  

They are experts at spotting potential which others too quickly miss. Nothing goes to waste; everything is redeemed.  

A discarded paperback is transformed into a lovely notebook, a one-off. Lost leaves are gathered and revamped as wrapping or some kind of decoration. Men and women with learning disabilities, too often considered unemployable, are honoured as beloved colleagues, skilled crafters, cherished members of their team and their community. 

At the 2023 Hay Festival, Rebound Books finally got the recognition they deserve, receiving the Bronze Award for Sustainability. 

Watch the video below to see how this project started and who are the people behind it!