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Waterstones Embracing Amazon and Its Kindle

By - Source: Waterstones | B 5 comments

A match made in heaven?

British bookstore Waterstones is to start selling Amazon's line of hugely popular Kindle ereaders. The company announced today that it has signed a commercial agreement with Amazon to launch new e-reading services and offer Kindle digital devices through its UK shops. The agreement is part of Waterstones' efforts to upgrade its 30-year-old retail store and refurbish stores. 

"At Waterstones, we are committed to improving our bookshops quite radically to offer the best possible book buying experience," said James Daunt, Managing Director of Waterstones. "It is a truly exciting prospect to harness also the respective strengths of Waterstones and Amazon to provide a dramatically better digital reading experience for our customers."

Daunt goes on to describe Kindles as 'the best digital readers' and said that Waterstones intends to marry the devices to the pleasure of browsing for books at a store.

Waterstones refurbishment program also includes plans to introduce dedicated digital areas and coffee shops to its stores. The retailer is also planning to offer free WiFi access.

This news will likely surprise readers who remember Daunt's previous statements about Amazon. The Telegraph reports that Managing Director Daunt last year labeled Amazon "a ruthless, money-making devil." Daunt went on to say that the computer is a terrible way to select books.

"All that 'If you read this, you'll like that' – it's a dismal way to recommend books," he's quoted as telling the Independent. "A physical bookshop in which you browse, see, hold, touch and feel books is the environment you want."

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  • 1 Hide
    velocityg4 , May 22, 2012 1:02 PM
    It seems counter-intuitive to sell something that makes your store obsolete.
  • 1 Hide
    freggo , May 22, 2012 2:19 PM
    How long until the local library will consist only of a service desk where they hand out Kindles loaded with the material you requested ? Would definitely cut down on library size, staff and cost.

  • 2 Hide
    aevm , May 22, 2012 2:35 PM
    freggoHow long until the local library will consist only of a service desk where they hand out Kindles loaded with the material you requested ? Would definitely cut down on library size, staff and cost.


    Maybe Amazon could just give a free Kindle to every 6-year old in the country. The libraries wouldn't even have any branches any more. Each city would have a few IT people and a large server, and that would be the entire public library. You log in and download books online, they expire in a week or two, nothing physical to check out or return. The library would have a budget, and software that spends it by collecting purchasing suggestions from members and buying e-books from Amazon and making them available for download.

  • 0 Hide
    tbq , May 22, 2012 9:12 PM
    freggoHow long until the local library will consist only of a service desk where they hand out Kindles loaded with the material you requested ? Would definitely cut down on library size, staff and cost.


    I can already check out digital books on my Kindle at the local library.
  • 0 Hide
    malvisa , May 25, 2012 4:37 AM
    My wife and I love our new Kindle Fire. It's lightweight, easy to use and has a great interface. The first thing I recommend anyone with a new Kindle do is install the nook app. We got our instructions from www.kindlemad.com through google.

    It basically unlocks all the Android marketplace apps and unlocks the device. I am one very happy Kindle owner!