I love Waterstones. It’s more than a shop… it’s a retreat to head to when you’re shopping trip gets too stressful, it’s a cosy cafe in which to spend an hour over a pot of tea, and it’s also a place full of manifestations of personal motivation and passion.
If I have half an hour to kill in town, I’ll head to Waterstones… but I could (and regularly do) easily spend a couple of hours working in the cafe and then having a mooch around the shelves. Although I do enjoy window shopping in clothes shops and riffling through rails of the latest trends, it just doesn’t compare to examining the shelves of a bookshop. The latter is like meditation in our technology obsessed world.
kind of addicted to social media, but I enjoy nothing more than looking at the beautiful front covers and reading first lines of novels in Waterstones (I have a bit of a thing where I get a vibe from the first line of a book… it’s probably all rubbish but hey ho). Actually, I enjoy sitting down with my chosen books just as much, more probably. Definitely more when it comes to the book I’m reading at the minute, Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. It’s my kind of book – character driven rather than plot driven, and I’ve been literally inhaling it 150 pages at a time. I’ll have finished it by tonight.
As I work from home, I tend to work from a coffee shop a couple of times a week to get a change of scene, and a Waterstones cafe is my first choice. They’re always so chilled out and unpretentious. There’s a nice mix of people – parents entertaining their young children, retired older people having a natter, and a sprinkling of students crouched over laptops. I sometimes feel bad for not going to the independent coffee shops more often, but I feel more comfortable about spending an hour and a half over one pot of tea in a larger, chain style shop. And luckily, the tea pots Waterstones provide are massive.
The only downside (if you could call it that) of frequenting Waterstones cafes is that it means that I’m regularly tempted to buy more books and add to my stash of to-be-read novels. And I regularly give in to that temptation. But I never really feel guilty buying books. I don’t feel the need to justify it like I do when I buy another striped top or another pinafore dress. I know books are often cheaper on Amazon and I do buy from there when I’m more strapped for cash, but the sterile click and scroll of online shopping doesn’t compare to the good ol’ mooch around a bookshop before deciding on a book or two. Or three, or four…