Real World Book Shops…


I’ve had a Waterstones gift token knocking around since my birthday, so I ventured into town yesterday to see if there were any technical books I could spend my pennies on. There’s a pretty big Waterstones in Birmingham, so I thought I was in with a shot at finding something worthwhile in there. How wrong I was…

The place was full of “… For Dummies”  books for old versions of Windows and Office, along with a vast collection of really old reference books. If anyone needs a “Teach yourself VB 5.0” manual, you know where to go!

When it’s my money I’m spending I almost always buy from Amazon. Part of me wants to support real world book stores, but the truth of the matter is they are really crappy for anything other than the latest bestseller novels, which are still typically more expensive than the equivalent from Amazon.

In the end I bought Ghost Story, the new Jim Butcher book from The Dresden Files series. I’ll see if I can spend the rest of the cash on the Waterstones online store. Must tell family that if they want to waste money on birthday presents for me, they should do it on Amazon gift certificates. 🙂



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

6 thoughts on “Real World Book Shops…”

  1. Are you really trying to say Waterstones didn’t stock any of *your* books Tim?! 😉

    I think it’s rather unfair to suggest that Waterstones only stock best-sellers. I agree that most of the newsagent chains and supermarkets only do (for obvious reasons), but the big book stores and specialist independent booksellers must stock thousands of titles.

    How many Oracle books are there? Lots. How many punters buy them? Not many. How much money does it cost to stock them? Lots (when was the last time you saw a £7.99 Oracle book?). How quickly do they go out of date? Under 2 years typically.

    No-one in their right mind would sell such technical books from a shop on the high street. Or if they do they should charge customers who don’t buy anything a “browsing fee” to contribute to their shop overheads which, for somewhere like Birmingham city centre, are probably eye-watering!

    That said, if you want a paper book covering a technical topic, IMO it’s hard to beat a big online reseller anyway since you can compare similar books side-by-side, usually look at a detailed TOC, read customer reviews etc.

  2. Simon: I did say up to date, so that rules out my books. 🙂

    I did mention technical books at the start of the post, since that was my reason for going there. I’m not suggesting other genres have the same issues as technical books.

    From my perspective, they could scrap the majority of the computing section and just leave some stuff about iPads for the normal folk.



  3. Oooh, Ghost Story is out? Sadly, I have too many books in my to-be-read pile to contemplate adding more at the moment! There are just too many books around that I want to read, like *right* *NOW*!

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