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Best Bookstore - Which Ones And What Do You Look For?

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Which do you think is the best bookstore and why? Waterstones? WH-Smith? Borders? Or any others? I tend to go to Borders as they have the best Stephen King selection! But they tend to be a bit pricey.

Let the Battle of the Bookstores Commence!

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I'm in the South East and we have British Bookshops/Sussex Stationers (same shop!). They usually have a good range, with lots on special offer. I feel comfortable browsing there.

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I used to live in Nottingham and loved the Oxfam store in West Bridgford. I was also a bit of a fan for the Waterstones as it was huuu-ge. Now I'm back in Grimsby and tbh, there's only a teeny tiny Waterstones so I tend to order online ;)

 

x

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I think my nearest Borders is in Brighton so I don't frequent it that much. I love browsing through Waterstones but tend to buy books in Sussex Stationers as the prices are good.;)

 

My local Smiths is pretty dead:irked:

 

When I'm up in London I make a beeline for Foyles, absolutely love that shop.

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Sussex Stationers - or the British Bookshops as they are now - aren't too bad, but they have a very limited selection. I always go there first because if they have the book I'm after they will invariably be cheaper than anywhere else, but the last few times I've been after a particular title they've not had it.

 

Next stop is WHSmiths, and although they have a wider range, it's generally only worth buying a book there if it is in the chart and part of one of their two for one offers.

 

The best place to buy books in Chichester though is Waterstones, hands down. It is in a converted hotel and the old ballroom on the second floor, and the converted stable entrance on the ground floor, make it a bright and interesting bookshop. I have literally spent hours browsing in there over the years.

 

There are also two good second hand shops in the city, that generally have quite a good range between them. I always make a point of going around them when I have the time.

 

ETA:

If I'm up in London, and have the time, I like to go around the second hand book shops in Charring Cross, just down the road from Foyle's. There are some very interesting specialist shops down there.

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I simply cannot pass a Waterstone's without popping in. I'm dreadful. I've even got one of those points cards.

 

I just feel so safe and comfortable in them, dammit!

 

Plus, the one in my local town has a very lovely lady with whom I enjoy chatting to about books. Such eyes...

 

*sighs wistfully*

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Smiths and Sussex Stationers are absolutely useless unless you want top 50 paperbacks, as that is about all my local ones seem to do. Borders are brilliant for non-fiction, especially religion and mind, body and spirit, and seem to have a lot of books that you can't get anywhere else, including American ones and some that are quite obscure and esoteric. The service and the way they treat authors though is atrocious.

 

Waterstones are the best hands down, in terms of service, availiablity prices and accessibility. They win every time for me. From the authors point of view they are brilliant to work with, Borders are a total waste of time, as everything is centralised - at Waterstones decisions are made on a branch by branch basis, which means you can cut out the answerphone that never returns calls - aka the buying team !

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The big chains here in the States are Borders and Barnes & Noble. I usually go to B&N because there seem to be more of them and also because Borders is a bit more expensive. OH! And B&N serve Starbucks coffee ;). There is a great huge one downtown that I love to visit because up on the top floor you can sit in big chairs with your coffee and look out at the other big buildings and people and traffic. For some reason I enjoy that, LOL.

 

Lately though I'm more often at Half Price Books, which is a great used shop that always has something I'm looking for.

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I think you might be starting to convert my decision! :motz: The Waterstones in Swansea is like what you described like a miniture hotel with lush leather sofas and huge fishtanks in the children's section. I just wish ours had Starbucks coffee! :censored: Then I would move in! :motz:

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I love Waterstones in Newcastle. The building is fabulous....I can spend hours in there on a Saturday afternoon :censored: I can barely pass it without having a wander in to look at the 3 for 2 books.

 

I think Borders is pretty pricey and W H Smiths is a little limited. There are loads of charity shops so it's always worth having a look about before heading to Waterstones and we have a Blackwells too which mainly stocks university textbooks but does have a small range of reasonably priced fiction. HMV sometimes have good offers on books too :motz:

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Waterstones here we have two as they took over the Ottakers that was (they have a coffee shop upstairs). We also have a place called Books and Beans (second hand shop also with a coffee place, ask Kell she will vouch for me)

 

We don't have a Borders here but we do frequent the one in Dundee on route to Fife (also because they have the coffee shop upstairs).

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I simply cannot pass a Waterstone's without popping in. I'm dreadful. I've even got one of those points cards.

 

Me too :censored:

 

Unfortunatly the Waterstones in my town is not the biggest so it doesn't carry a lot of stock. There is a rather nice young chap behind the counter who also takes the time to chat about books and even has the same taste in genre as me! Doesn't make me swoon though :motz:

 

The other main book store over here is a chain called Easons but they are a huge stationary shop too so their stocks aren't great either, failing that I buy from Amazon or Waterstones online (to get my points!) :motz:

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I buy from Amazon or Waterstones online (to get my points!) :censored:

 

How have you found Watestone's online service? Has their dispatch been quick? I was going to use them the other day as they were cheaper than Amazon, but then I read a few bad reviews about them showing as if books are in stock, but then they don't turn up for weeks.

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How have you found Watestone's online service? Has their dispatch been quick? I was going to use them the other day as they were cheaper than Amazon, but then I read a few bad reviews about them showing as if books are in stock, but then they don't turn up for weeks.

 

Yeah I've heard that too, but I've never had any problems with them so far. They always arrive in 3-4 days. :censored:

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My favourite bookstore is Waterstones, it`s so relaxing in there, more so than other book shops. I think W H Smith is my least favourite.

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I'm a Waterstones fan, we have two in Birmingham city centre, one used to be a Dillons. I prefer the one that was a Dillons because it's an old bank building and is like a bookshop should be with pillars and grand staircases, and even a tower! It has a Costa too which isn't bad (except that the Costa plays music which you occasionally catch a bit of in the main shop). When I was little I prefered the other Waterstones because they had a great kids section, it was really colourful and had bean bags and benches to sit on, and they did activities in the holidays and sold stickers! When they refurbished it though they moved the children's section so it doesn't have it's own floor anymore (it was in the basement) and is more 'modern' and decorated like the rest of the store. I think they still do the occasional activity but they don't sell stickers anymore!

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Over here we have Angus and Robertson, Dymocks and Borders. By far Dymocks is the best in membership points/rewards program, events and have a far wider range of books especially the George St store (Sydney). Angus and Robertson stores I find always seem to be cramped and expensive, and as for Borders although they do have big stores around they don't even have a rewards program!

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*drools* Dymocks at George St, Sydney. That's my favourite bookshop, Paperplane :welcome: I've spent many a lunch hour there.

 

I also love their rewards program, which reminds me, I lost my Booklover card recently (I think I may have left it behind at their other George St store) and I had about $15 on it to spend! :( I have my Booklover number so hopefully I can get it transferred to another card (this isn't the first time I've lost my card :006:)

 

You can sign up for a weekly Borders email where they often email vouchers for discounts. Well, they used to. Every other week I'd get a voucher for 30% off fiction or 50% off children's books. They must have gotten too popular though because it all seemed to stop after Christmas. They still occasionally send vouchers, but not big ones like they used to. :smile2:

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Borders as a company are in huge trouble and probably can't afford those vouchers - they are losing money hand over fist and closing stores all over the place. I am amazed they are even still in business.

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*drools* Dymocks at George St, Sydney. That's my favourite bookshop, Paperplane :welcome: I've spent many a lunch hour there.

 

 

You can sign up for a weekly Borders email where they often email vouchers for discounts. Well, they used to. Every other week I'd get a voucher for 30% off fiction or 50% off children's books. They must have gotten too popular though because it all seemed to stop after Christmas. They still occasionally send vouchers, but not big ones like they used to. :smile2:

 

Ahh yes three levels, a cafe up top and Dymocks Stationary next door, more than enough to lure me in at least a few times a week! Complete heaven. :006:

 

I have signed up to Borders email newsletter but I never seem to get any vouchers! Plus I'd prefer a points program then you can spend your rewards on anything in the store not just a specific selection.

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They send the emails out on a Friday. It used to be the highlight of my working week, receiving that email at work. :welcome: I'd always get it before morning tea, so I could duck out straight away and use my voucher. :smile2: But like I said, they don't seem to send many vouchers any more.

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Waterstone's, hands down. Borders is way too expensive, as is Foyle's, and WH Smiths only seem to stock books and/or editions I wouldn't be seen dead reading. Waterstone's magnificent permanent 3x2 offer on new paperbacks means it's easily the cheapest high-street bookstore, not to mention the big ones have nice squishy sofas for you to peruse potential acquisitions at your leisure.

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