Proving that you can’t fight progress, Waterstones have announced that at some point in the near future Amazon’s Kindle e-reader will start appearing on Waterstones shelves across the country. Reports that this pact is "Faustian" and "the harbinger of the publishing apocalypse" are unconfirmed.
Now, I’m a book-lover, and such as will only get an eReader when it’s tailored exactly to the dimensions of my inside pocket and when each dead tree book comes with a free eBook. However, even I can see the benefit of being able to get books whenever you want, wherever you want. To help with this, Waterstones will also be putting free Wi-Fi into their shops, so you can get a book sold to you by one of their fine merchants and then buy it for your eReader there and then if you prefer reading things electronically. You will also be able to get tutorials from staff on how to use them.
Hopefully the presence of Kindles in another high street shop will stop customers asking if Waterstones stock Kindles or (and this is a genuine enquiry I got while working there a while back) if there were any Amazon shops nearby. This will benefit everybody in the long run, but especially busy, handsome booksellers!
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