You cannot just buy a book and leave, like in a real shop. You take it to a desk where a staff member fills in a chit saying what it is. Then you go in search of a cashier - if you can find one. Payment completed, you return to the first department, and get your book back. Presumably this is some antiquated stocktaking practice based on a belief that the computer will be the death of the printed word. The quickest way to kill books is to make buying them this daunting.
On the ground floor, where I wanted one of the better-known London guides (out of stock, they thought; it certainly was not on any obvious shelf), it was suggested that I could try Books Etc. over the road. Well, yes. . .Reuse content