Waterstones and the Smell of Books

News just in, or a few days ago when I didn’t have the time to write this blog…Waterstones has decided to stop selling e-books. For one, I am a big fan of their decision to abandon digital books for the real deal. Kobo, a digital book company, will be taking over Waterstone’s digital customers. According to James Daunt, boss of Waterstones, Kobo provides “an excellence of service we ourselves are unable to match”.

Waterstone’s move away from e-books is it’s second decision to distance itself from the digital world. In October, Waterstone stopped selling Kindles and now you will no longer be able to purchase e-books in their stores. What has motivated these decisions? One would think that as e-books are now responsible for 30% of UK book purchases and currently £393 million is spent on e-books (Nielsen Book Research, 2014) Waterstones would be encouraged to continue to sell them. Despite the seemingly absurdity of this decision, I fully support it.

As you may have guessed from the title of this blog. I love the ‘real thing’. I love the authenticity of books, feeling the weight of the cover in my hand, the smell of untouched pages. I even appreciate the bent spine and well-worn pages of second-hand books. It tells me that these books were loved. That someone else enjoyed it, got lost in it’s world. The power of books astound me and continues to. Yes, sometimes it is frustrating. Reading numerous book blurbs only to discover that yet another author has chosen yet another story line that we’ve all read numerous times before. But I stand behind Waterstone’s decision, it’s a real book, or no book for me. Until more people take this view you’ll find me curled up with my latest read, absorbed in the pages and yes, maybe having a good old sniff!

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