Friday, 14 August 2009

Dear Waterstones...

Dear Waterstones,

I was very disappointed to go into my local Waterstones in Manchester, Deansgate to find that it was very diffcult/almost impossible to buy short fiction from the store unless I knew the name of an author. I was disappointed to see that although there was a short fiction section, this was only for anthologies of short fiction and not single author collections.

I mainly read short fiction, and very rarely read novels. Perhaps this is a rare thing, but the short story is getting much stronger in the UK. There is a vast choice of short fiction out there, by a range of UK and Overseas writers. In my view it suits the faster pace of life these days. I can read a short story here and there, on journeys, between jobs. It takes less investment than immersing myself in a novel, yet the rewards are so much greater, short sharp shocks, beautiful insights, small pieces of magic.

Short fiction undersells (possibly because shops such as yours don't have a specific section for short fiction and don't promote it).

I wanted to draw your attention to my blog about my visit to Waterstones Manchester

http://forgettingthetime.blogspot.com/2009/08/bookshop-blues.html

and to mention that it is not the member of staff I was complaining about, she was actually very friendly and helpful, but was limited by how things are set out in the store.

I also want to point you in the direction of The Short Review. A brilliant review site for short stories, that has a huge following on the internet.

http://www.theshortreview.com/

Mostly, I buy short fiction from the internet. Amazon has a short fiction search facility so I can get recommendations. I also buy a lot on friend recommendations, short fiction reviews.

What is missing for me, is the opportunity to call into my local bookshop and browse short fiction, so I can flick through the pages a little, read a sample, feel the books and buy on a whim.

If only I might be able to do this at Waterstones, my favourite bookshop...

Annie Clarkson

3 comments:

Nik Perring said...

Well said, Annie. I second that.

Nik

artista povera said...

well said Annie

deemikay said...

Please tell me you actually sent them this...

(Waterstones in Argyle St in Glasgow used to have a great short fiction section... but, again, it was mainly anthologies.)