This post is by James Smythe from Books | The Guardian
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The giant company’s acquisition of the smaller chain continues the monopoly of British bookshops – but as long as booksellers are protected, it’s a good thing
Full disclosure: I like Waterstones a lot. When I was first published, it was Waterstones booksellers that pushed my book. I remember going to Waterstones Deansgate, right after my novel The Testimony was published, and meeting the wonderful booksellers there. I didn’t really know howbookshops worked, and I had vague recollections of the pre-James-Daunt days of Waterstones, where the tables were the same in every branch. But the power and goodwill of those booksellers overwhelmed me. How they had whole tables of books that they cared about, the way that they spoke about the books they loved, the little stand they had for my little book, with the shelf-talker card underneath (Do you know what those cards mean to a writer? I take photos ...