BOOKS EXIT POLL: What customers think of Waterstone's Piccadilly, Europe's biggest bookshop
Sunday 26 September 1999
WEB DESIGNER, 26
I was thrilled to see that they've kept most of the art deco interior intact, and I ended up surprising myself by buying a pounds 15 book on computers - I wouldn't normally spend that easily. You can feel posh by coming into the St James's entrance and then you can come back into the popular world, by coming out into Piccadilly.
I discovered Waterstone's on a wet walk from Piccadilly to Hyde Park Corner. I think it's absolutely marvellous. I was desperately sorry when Simpson's closed, but this is a pretty good bookshop. I've had coffee, and I think they're very well set up, and the labelling of the sections is very well-signposted.
Well, I was looking for the collected Walter Benjamin Volume Two, which they haven't got, and they haven't got Volume One either. So I asked an assistant about a book by Borges and he didn't know who Borges was, and I wondered why they kept philosophy in lifestyle and leisure which is a bit peculiar, but there we go.
I came in to get some dictionaries for my 12-year-old son. The coffee's really and the decor's OK, but it's a little too plain. I know they're trying to make it look bright and roomy, but I think it needs some more detail. It's a bit like the old supermarket, you know what I mean. WORDS & PICTURES
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