News from the shop front - January 2010

News from the shop front - January 2010

We usually concentrate on independent shops here at List Towers, but we’re genuinely saddened to hear that Borders UK are going into administration. The Glasgow store in particular has been a real gem, with a dedicated and knowledgeable staff always taking the time to promote local authors and publications of particular interest to the city’s actual residents.

It also means that Waterstones are now the only major retail outlet for books in the country, and, as widely reported in the media, this year they changed their process for ordering books. All Waterstones’ stock is now run from one central Hub in Burton-on-Trent, meaning that stores will no longer be able to specialise in books of interest to local readers. This is pretty bad news for many Scottish authors: in fact, for any writers not based in London or famous enough to grab major broadsheet patronage and get themselves onto the Waterstones Hub radar.

The only solution, we suppose, is to support the ever-dwindling number of independent book shops as best you can. We’ll be putting together a guide to those very rare beasts in the new year: for now, if you’re intending to give books this Christmas, have a think before you step on the High Street, as there are still a few hardy independents out there and they deserve your support. Particular List favourites include Elvis Shakespeare, on Edinburgh’s Leith Walk (great for the sort of 20th century fiction to make you think, as well as music and contemporary writing) and the excellent Hyndland Bookshop on Hyndland Road in Glasgow’s West End, which has a wonderfully intelligent focus, and a genuine passion for new literature.

Meanwhile, there’s an awful lot of Borders staff looking for jobs just before Christmas. Some kind soul has set up a Paypal account to help put together a kitty for the Glasgow staff to have a decent commiseratory night out when the shops close, tiny link here:

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