I was in town today just wasting time mostly. I went to town to look for some scented candles for bathroom and other use. I’ve noticed my room in plymouth was smelling a bit mank before I came home and thought I’d look for some nice candles for a more homely scent.
I also went into Waterstones and looked at the psychology/science related books. Ok I don’t know if it’s just that shop or all of them but there are no sofa’s in there anymore. It’s a bookshop. Most people – I know I do – want to sit down and read a book or bits of a book either before they buy it or instead of buying it. Have they suddenly had a price rise since removing the sofas since people are actually buying more books rather than reading them in the shop.
In W.H.Smith I found the opposite. The shop in Broadmead in Bristol has a cafe area in one corner with a coffee bar, big sofas and little tables where you can sit and read. They also let people stand around reading the magazines and books as long as they want and don’t have a problem with people putting it back on the shelf afterwards. I always hated in some smaller magazine selling shops, they give you dirty looks if you dare open the pages in the shop before you have paid for it and are likely to have signs saying things like ‘this is not a library’ and such.
W.H.Smith fits in with culture of speedy on-the-go people who like to catch up with the news in the daytime, meet people for coffee and read the paper or a book at the same time. Waterstones is more the large chain bookshop but it is only a book shop (accentuate the gap between the word book and the word shop) and you go in, choose a book and leave again.