Sold out or under the counter?

Waterstones says it’s not true it’s not it’s not it’s NOT.

Waterstones has refuted [rejected] accusations made on social media this week that it is failing to stock certain titles about gender, saying the claims are “of course… untrue”. 

Twitter users had claimed that Waterstones branches were refusing to stock Hannah Barnes’ Time to Think: The Inside Story of the Collapse of the Tavistock’s Gender Service for Children (Swift Press), with similar suggestions made about Hags: The Demonisation of Middle-Aged Women by Victoria Smith (Fleet). 

Not so much refusing to as failing to. I saw no claims that Watersones staff were stupid enough to say “We refuse to stock it!” when asked. The claims are that it’s extremely difficult to find at branch after branch after branch – that it’s “sold out” or there’s one copy remaining and it’s in a special place somewhere.

A spokesperson confirmed that the retailer was stocking Time to Think, and that the book had performed well in sales. They told The Bookseller: “Quite simply, many of our shops sold out temporarily and we are expecting a fresh delivery which will land on our shelves very soon. Of course, this does happen from time to time with books that sell well. We stock the book sensibly and refute the misrepresentation implicit to these tweets.” 

That could of course be true – but the tweets I’ve seen don’t say the staff say it’s sold out and a large new shipment is on the way. They say staff are evasive or unhelpful.

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