A PROPERTY buyer has a lot of reading to do after snapping up a Gwent shop filled with books at auction.

The shop, in World Heritage book town Blaenavon, is stuffed from floor to ceiling with books with some of the publications said to be rare and valuable.

With two floors of accommodation above, 32 Broad Street, Blaenavon, which was listed with Newport-based Paul Fosh Auctions with a guide price of £75,000, sold for almost twice that amount.

Saturated in its own unique past, Blaenavon in the Eastern Valley optimistically launched as a book town to rival Hay on Wye in 2003. The town also has UNESCO World Heritage Status site.

Debra Bisley, of Paul Fosh Auctions, said: "There was just so much interest in this three storey shop crammed full of books. It's many people's dream to own a book shop and live above the premises.

Free Press Series: Well read: A former shop crammed with books in World Heritage 'book town' Blaenavon sold for £135,000 at Paul Fosh Auctions

"The solid pre sale interest translated to the online sale which saw 64 bids made by seven individual bidders with two going head to head right to the end with the shop eventually going for £135,000.

"Another smaller shop, just a few steps up the high street and currently occupied by a charity, sold for £55,000.

Debra said: "We had loads of interest from people intrigued by the former coal mining area which is steeped in history from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution at the start of the 18th century. While others recognised the opportunities there are for exploiting the potential for these and other properties in this World Heritage town. And some just wanted the chance to buy a ready stocked book shop!

"Located on the ground floor of larger property is the two room book shop. The mass of books in the shop were included in the sale. The top two floors make up a three bedroom maisonette which can be accessed via the shop or via the entrance to the rear of the property. Additionally there is a head-height basement and a large attic.

"The pair of properties are located in what is the main street in Blaenavon. The larger of the properties, the former book shop, holds a prominent core position on the intersection of Broad Street and Burford Street. The smaller property has a retail unit on the ground floor with a one bed flat above.

Free Press Series: Well read: A former shop crammed with books in World Heritage 'book town' Blaenavon sold for £135,000 at Paul Fosh Auctions

"Both are ideally situated within walking distance of tourist attractions such as Blaenavon Ironworks, The Heritage Railway, World Heritage Centre and The Big Pit. Additionally, Blaenafon Cheddar Co, which matures its cheeses in the former pit, is located on Broad Street which attracts hoards of tourists to the area.

"Directly behind the buildings is Lion Street public car park, and Lion Street bus station and are within close proximity to transport links and all local amenities."