Waterstone's has announced it will challenge the dominance of Amazon's Kindle by launching its own electronic book reader next year.
The British chain of bookshops announced the plans yesterday, two years after the US bookseller Barnes & Noble launched its Nook device, with a design similar to the Kindle. The managing director of Waterstone's, James Daunt, said that he had been inspired by the success of the Nook, which made Barnes & Noble one of the few high-street retailers to challenge Amazon's dominance in an increasingly lucrative market.
"We in Waterstone's need to offer you a digital reader which is at least as good, and preferably substantially better, than that of our internet rival," Mr Daunt told BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme. "You will have a much better buying experience purchasing your books through us."
Mr Daunt was brought in to manage the company earlier this year in a shake-up which the new owner, the Russian investment billionaire, Alexander Mamut, hoped would revive the flagging fortunes of the retail chain.
Waterstone's, which has nearly 300 retail stores across Europe, was sold to A&NN Capital Fund Management for £53m in June.
Mr Daunt said the development of the e-reader was "well down the planning line", and that it would be launched in spring 2012.