Letter: Too many books

Click to follow
The Independent Online
I'M NOT surprised that Waterstone's is in trouble, if my experience with its Piccadilly branch is typical ("Waterstone's facing staff revolt", 28 November). I was impressed by the splendid new interiors, the bar, the coffee shop, the restaurant and the loos. Wanting to celebrate a first visit, I asked for Roger Osborne's The Deprat Affair, at that time being read on BBC Radio 4. A member of staff found it on the computer, but could not tell me where, in the five miles of shelves, I could actually find the book, or even what category it came under. She consulted colleagues, who could not help, so the sale was lost.

What every section needs is a manager of the calibre of the old-fashioned bookseller, who was a reader himself, knew what was going on in the book world, and had a stock that he knew from hands-on experience. Computers cannot replace this knowledge, and a large number of books can be too many, if not under control.

JOY BROOKFIELD

Fareham, Hampshire

Comments