Waterstones Sold Kindles? Who Knew
Apparently Waterstones is removing Amazon's Kindle from its shelves after the eReaders notched up poor sales.
Colour me stunned. The last place I'd go looking for an eReader would be a book shop. Frankly the last place I'd expect to want to sell one either.
Book shops sell books because customers value the feel of a book in their hand. I have no idea why, I haven't bought a printed book in over a decade, I've bought hundreds of electronic ones. It didn't take long to get over the loss of the tangible benefits of an actual book (primarily the fact that it doesn't need a battery and it's pretty robust) once you get an eReader of some sort.
Once you realise that something less than half the size of a paperback can carry your whole library, give you instant access to a virtual book store and can be used at night without disturbing your significant other thanks to backlighting, the idea of paper books soon loses its appeal.
By trying to sell customers eReaders bookshops have been hastening the apocalypse, that day when nobody buys printed books anymore. They might not sell many but they no doubt planted the seed in the minds of customers who might otherwise never have considered a ebook of any sort.
For most people a Kindle means Amazon. If you're an Amazon customer (especially one thinking of a Kindle) the chances of you ever going into a Waterstones - or any other traditional bookseller - are pretty slim.