BOOKS EXIT POLL: What customers think of Waterstone's Piccadilly, Europe's biggest bookshop

ANDREW ORFORD

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.

ROSALIND FRANCE

RETIRED, 67

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.

ROBERT SMITH

PLAYWRIGHT, 39

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.

PAULETTE MILES

CLERK, 34

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

BY MAXINE CAMPER

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