I’m in a spot in Gabriel Zaid’s book right now in which he muses on the odds of a bookstore plucking what its customers need/want from the veritable “constellation of books” that have been, are being, and will be published. A whole new vista on bookstores has opened up for me, leading to the following bit from this article glowing for me like a red nose on Rudolph (note: it’s not cos it came from a mouth at Waterstone’s). Could I really have that dream of my own little bookstore and make it last more than a torrid year?

clipped from

Return of the local bookshop – in a plot hatched upstairs at a Soho pub

The independents are demonstating that their trade can flourish – even in Amazon’s shadow

David Teather
Saturday April 14, 2007
The Guardian

… Jerry Johnson, Waterstone’s chief executive, says the market is in flux and concedes that his business needs to change with it. “Go back five or six years and the internet hadn’t really established itself. If you wanted a deep range you had to go to a big store. But even the biggest store in the UK carries only around 150,000 titles – about 10% of the books in print. The internet has removed their reason for being. Book retailing then becomes more about leisure and convenience. There is a very healthy market for small bookstores serving local communities. So I don’t think it is a crisis but a fundamental change and we have to dance our way through that. We will still open stores but they will typically be smaller and serving local communities. Our store on Oxford Street was 25,000 sq ft and was just too big. The rents were huge and it was beyond our ability to support it. We just opened a 5,000 sq ft store in Wigan and it has gone brilliantly.” …

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