Sad News - Waterstone's to close 11 stores by end of the week

We knew it was coming and now it's here, the announcement of the next tranch of Waterstone's bookshops to close.  It's always sad news to a book lover, author and reader that a bookshop is to close and by the end of this week there will be eleven fewer in our towns and cities.

The Waterstone's shops set to close are spread across the UK and Ireland and are mostly in locations where more than one Waterstone's store exists because some time ago Waterstone's bought up Ottakers creating two Waterstones in the same area. Staff at the affected Waterstone's stores have now entered into a period of consultation, but may be redeployed to other locations says Waterstone's. I hope they all find other jobs quickly.

The HMV Group, which owns both HMV and Waterstone's, made the decision to shut stores after a tough trade performance over the Christmas period, but to my mind the writing was on the wall long before then. The book retailer has earmarked 20 sites for closure.

Courtesy of the The Bookseller here is a list of the latest store closures which follow those already announced for Slough, Maidenhead and Edinburgh East End. They are: Dawson Street Dublin, Jervis Street Colchester, Culver Square Worcester, High Street Guildford, North Street Stafford, Guildhall Hemel Hempstead, Marlowes Centre Coventry, Cathedral LanesTiverton, Luton, Chelmsford, Meadows.

It's possible that some of these towns and cities have strong independent bookshops, and if so then I wish them good trading, but with more books being purchased via the Internet and as the sale of e books grow we are indeed living in changing times.

I have signed in many Waterstone's branches across the UK and am fortunate to have branches near where I live in Portsmouth, Petersfield, Chichester and Newport on the Isle of Wight. Fingers crossed they continue to trade.

It is every budding authors dream to see their books on the shelves of a major bookstore. Now sadly, that is looking less likely as the years go by with the demise of the bookstore.

And here I am proudly displaying my first break into Waterstone's with the first in the DI Andy Horton Marine Mystery Crime Series, Tide of Death, published in 2006 and reprinted a couple of times since then.

I was thrilled when both Waterstone's and Borders (another book chain store that has bitten the dust in the UK) took my first three novels, In Cold Daylight, In For the Kill and Tide of Death in national promotions.

And here I am in Waterstone's Portsmouth in November 2010 meeting one of my fans and signing a copy of Blood on the Sand (the fifth in the Inspector Andy Horton crime series) for him.

Once again I wish the Waterstone's staff who are losing their jobs or about to lose them the very best of luck in finding new positions very quickly. 


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