There was an interesting interview with James Daunt in the Financial Times on Saturday. Slowly he is turning around Waterstone which was in dire straits. This is important as Daunts, which he founded, and Waterstone which has a high street presence are vital for the selling and survival of physical books.
Like many I find my Kindle wonderful for travel but never quite get my head let alone eyes around the ebook. Recently I have been buying art books which require a decent size for proper illustrations. I treated myself to my favourite artist Ken Howard’s autobiography which cost over £100 but, with its creamy vellum, precise illustrations of his paintings, it’s a pleasure personified. It’s a bit heavy to lug around but sitting in my favourite armchair listening to classical music with a drop of Sauvignon Blanc a joy to read. Bookshops according to Daunt will change and become more meeting places with cafés and informed literate staff. Majestic in wine follow the same model of tastings and knowledgeable staff. With the proliferation of book clubs, my impression is people are reading more and with a some lateral thinking booksellers like James Daunt can still found and lead profitable businesses and take on Amazon.