My very local Waterstones is closing down. The news was in the Leicester Mercury today and for all the world I felt like I was reading an obituary. Until June 1st Leicester has 2 branches of Waterstones both of which are perhaps most accurately described as adequate bookshops which is no reflection on the staff who have always been wonderful (Nottingham Waterstones by comparison is excellent but then it also feels like it's always had a bit more love from on high) my branch used to be a Dillons and once upon a time it was the best bookshop I'd ever seen.
In all honesty Leicester doesn't need 2 branches within a quarter of a mile of each other and the closure of 1 branch has seemed inevitable ever since Dillons and Waterstones became one. I'm sorry that they're closing the larger branch partly because it has space for a better range but mostly because I have a deep emotional attachment to that shop. I used to spend Saturdays browsing there when paperbacks were about £2.50 each and when it had a theology department that also sold church candles - you know, back in the good old days when bookshops were really bookshops...
Over the years I've spent thousands of pounds and as many hours in that shop. In the Costa (resented because it took good book selling space) I've drunk endless coffee's with friends, it's where the Scottish one first suggested we meet for tea and buns (how could he fail to be the right man for me after that?), I used to have a sneaky skive in there when I worked round the corner, and it's been the one shop in town I go in every time I go into town.
Personal reasons aside though it's sad to see another shop go, it's a large building with enough age and charm to make it hard to imagine anybody else taking it on any time soon. The city centre is - well whatever it is, it isn't thriving, these are grim times, and however much sense this particular closure makes it still feels like something to mourn - and as much as I'll miss the shop I'll miss the staff more, I hope the next month isn't too hideous for them.
That is sad but inevitable. We've lost so many bookshops in my area that there's really only one local bookshop left to do any browsing. There was an article in the Bookseller recently about a survey that showed that bookshops sell books to people who don't know what they want until they see it on the shelf or want to buy gifts etc. It showed that online browsing just isn't the same & I'd agree with that.ReplyDelete
I agree Lyn, much as I browsing online nothing beats a good bookshop.Delete
and made even worse by the fact that the one they are keeping is absolutely awful. Another nail in Leicester's retail coffin.
Its a very average bookshop, mostly because its so small but as you say the tragedy is in the loss of another shop.Delete
Very sad. So full of memories, too.ReplyDelete
It really was full of memories, silly to e sentimental about it but I'll really miss a shop that one way or another was a big part of my life, especially for the decade I've lived in town when it's been my place to go when I wanted cheering up or chilling out.Delete
I'd forgotten all about Dillons, which is strange as I must have spent hours in there in days gone by.ReplyDelete
Aside from the agonising loss of bookshops, it's really sad seeing loads of closed-down, boarded-up shops on our high streets; particularly the really big stores which seem to leave a massive hole. I've noticed that lots of the Woolworths are still empty as a reminder of what once was.
I hope your remaining Waterstones is a nice bookshop and that you have other bookshops in your city.
The remaining branch is okay but it's quite small.the staff are lovely and for its size it's a decent shop but not amazing. Not so many years ago the city was well served by several excellent book shops,both chains and independents, new and second hand. Now there are very few left which is depressing.Delete
We had two Waterstones in Colchester as well because one had been a Dillons. They were within fifty yards of each other so it was obvious that one had to go but we were lucky and had two for several years. The one they closed in the end was my favourite, housed in what used to be the old library building and had a good feeling about it. I went there often. The one that is open is on the High Street so one could see why they chose it, but it is cramped and over full and not half as nice as the other one.ReplyDelete
It's the same thing here and the branch will be missed for its atmosphere as much as anything else.Delete
very sad ours in chesterfield is small I worry it will close leaving us no bookshop and meaning I would have to buy online mostly ,all the best stuReplyDelete
Hi Stu, the good news seems to be that they've only been looking at places where there are two branches close together in the same city so you might be ok.ReplyDelete
That is sad. But I'm glad you still have one left. My favourite Waterstones is still the Gower Street branch in London which used to be a Dillons when I used to go to college just round the corner and I'm thankful that it's still there as it holds so many memories.ReplyDelete