dc: The Doctor's library card (Library card)
[personal profile] dc
A new bookshop is always a pleasant discovery, so I was very pleased early in 2014 to stumble across Watermark Books in King's Cross Station (I was down in London for a couple of things, including Nordicana and to celebrate a friend's birthday). Watermark isn't a huge bookshop, so I didn't expect a lot from it. However, it turned out they pack a lot into their small shop. I knew it was good as soon as I saw the table of translated fiction. That wasn't the last time I visited there, and on each occasion I came away with something interesting to read. Basically, whenever I was in London I made sure I took the opportunity to pop in (and since last year's Worldcon was in London, I was down more than usual).

You can imagine how disappointed (to use understatement) I was to hear that they are closing down soon. I believe they will be open for the whole of July, but I may have misunderstood that. This isn't, as far as I can gather, because they aren't doing good business, but because the site's owners want to change the use of the space. Whatever the reason, it's a real shame. I don't know when I am likely to be in London again, but I'm really not pleased that whenever I'm next there I won't be able to pop in to Watermark and see what unexpected goodies they have on their shelves.

It's always annoying when somewhere you like closes down (several of us still mourn the loss of Glasgow's Biblocafe, and that's been closed a few years now), but to me it seems worse when that's a good bookshop. And Watermark is a good bookshop.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-06-30 05:47 pm (UTC)
weofodthignen: selfportrait with Rune the cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] weofodthignen
That's sad. A statement from the manager quoted in The Bookseller says that it's a decision by the owners, Lagardere something or other; the article on their opening in 2012 says that they were the first European branch of the Australian Watermark Books, which was founded 5 years before then. From its full name, Lagardere is a packager of businesses for the UK and Irish markets. Strangely the original is apparently Watermark Books & Cafe - Facebook - and so is the Watermark Books & Cafe in Wichita, Kansas, which says it was founded in 1977. There's a message or two about business in there somewhere. But the manager does say there's a bookshop in St. Pancras. I hope she has another place to go, she appears to have done a bang-up job.

Yeah, it's sad. It sounds as if no matter what customers do to vote with their feet, owners will just make inscrutable decisions.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-02 12:48 pm (UTC)
watervole: (Default)
From: [personal profile] watervole
I wonder if they'll be able to find another site.

There is still a market for books, but you have hit a particular target demographic to succeed. A railway station is a good position for a book shop. We're in a tourist town where we get a lot of people looking for holiday reading (and also locals after specialist stuff).

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-01 07:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purplebookfairy.livejournal.com
That sucks! :-(

Have you ever visited the huge Waterstone's in Picadilly? I love it!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-01 01:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tanngrisnir.livejournal.com
It's good. We have a huge Waterstone's in Glasgow, too, which I try not to spend too much... time in. ;-)

We *used* to have a branch of Borders, which was even bigger (150,000 books, I believe), but that went when the chain shut down. :-(

In London, the other place worth visiting is Foyle's, in Charing Cross Road (near Tottenham Court Road station). Very good bookshop.

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