Waterstones staff discount
It was a depressing admission: market logic dictated that bookselling was now a big-scale business.
I wander five floors of the Bloomsbury Waterstone's, fruitlessly looking for a corner to sit and read.
"It allowed each shop to buy from wholesalers and encouraged staff to be individualistic and select books that appeal to local customers.
"Yes she replies, "but two words: postal strike."We have wanted to expand into bookselling for a long time and now the moment seems right they say."I'm not inclined to be harsh on Waterstone's says Clee.People who love books have fewer and fewer places they can walk into and know they will find things that will suit them.But I doubt it is a model that appeals to Waterstone's accountants.
Coffee concessions don't really deliver that.
What they should have done was take on Amazon by offering something Amazon can't the lovely, serendipitous experience of being in a really good, big bookshop.".
In the Bloomsbury branch of Waterstone's, I am trying to find a quiet seat to read Tacitus's account of Seneca's suicide when I come across something more diverting.
"I don't know what to do now.".
After all, I am the one who brings sentiment and culture to the book-buying experience.
"By competing with supermarkets, they can't afford to care about the quality of what they're selling.".Photograph: John Phillips/UK Press/Press Association Images.Despite repeated emails and phone calls, no one at Waterstone's is prepared to discuss these issues with."There seems to be a frantic scramble in the book retail world to rush downmarket in order to compete with the challenges gifts for new homeowners buzzfeed of Amazon, the supermarkets and next the ebook.It didn't used to be this way.The demise of the NBA certainly revolutionised British bookselling."The answer was that customers preferred stationery to biography recalled Holroyd."I'm confused she says.
"Waterstone's did Britain a huge favour agrees Nicholas Clee, author and former editor of the Bookseller.
"Oh says the customer.
"Tim had been courageous in having huge stocks of books but then he was faced with Bezos's idea, which was that any book in print can be got to the customer very quickly.".