Waterstone’s can’t find it

Glinner urges readers to try to buy a copy of Hannah Barnes’s book Time to Think. A reader reports on one such attempt:

So on Tuesday last week (28 Feb), I looked for ‘Time to think’ in Waterstones Broadgate (Liverpool Street station). I was told that they had one copy, but that it had been ordered specifically for a customer. I was told that the nearest branch with a copy was Gower Street. (I didn’t look there…)

One copy. Why just one copy? I don’t think that’s how these things work. I think normally bookstores get several (or hundreds if they know it will fly off the shelves). They seem to have just One Copy only when it’s a book by some wicked feminist like Kathleen Stock.

On Friday (3 Feb) I looked in Waterstones Piccadilly – the biggest bookshop in London – where the front section as you enter is full of new releases and recommended books.

Been there done that. The Piccadilly one is the first place Jeremy and I went when the fashionable nonsense dictionary was published. (There were several copies.) Anyway – they didn’t have a single copy. Our reporter expressed surprise and one of the assistants snapped at him. Yeah that’s totally normal. The other assistant said it was an order but didn’t say when it would be in, and was vague about it when asked.

I then went to Foyles on Charing Cross Road (Foyles is now owned by Waterstones btw), who also didn’t have it on display in the front of the shop along with the new releases and recommendations. The assistant there said they had sold their allocation and were waiting for more copies, but again didn’t offer when it would be in stock. He looked up to see where I might find it nearby, and said that Waterstones Trafalgar Square had a copy.

One copy.

It could be that they’re just selling faster than Waterstone’s expected, but that seems unlikely, being as how Waterstone’s can pay attention to the news just as well as we can. And even if that is the case, why are they being so lackadaisical or just rude about it? We probably know why.

I couldn’t see it in Waterstones Trafalgar Square either, despite there being a two-unit display headed ‘In the media’. When I asked, I was told that I could find it in the ‘New social sciences’ section.

I found it and bought it. That might have been the last copy in a Waterstones store in London (!).

Suppress suppress suppress.

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