James Daunt has taken over the 300 Waterstone’s shops that are scattered across the country. I heard him saying on the radio that he will be attempting to roll out his existing strategy, which is to ensure that the area a bookshop is in has an influence on its individual style and content. It heartened me, because Daunt bookshops are lovely places to be in, and maybe this unassuming, likeable man will find a way for bookshops to sit alongside the newer methods of book-buying, in a way that enables each to benefit and complement the other. In other words, is it not better to maintain a healthy mix in the market place? I also decided to wait and view the new e-reader which Daunt is planning to launch, before succumbing to the temptation to buy a Kindle.
That radio interview with Mr Daunt reminded me of an article I read in the Saturday Guardian in August.