Waterstones: £18.99. Amazon: £11.89, free delivery. This is one of the books I flipped through whilst sitting in the Starbucks. I may never buy this book, but if I do, I'm not paying an extra 7 quid out of the goodness of my heart. I feel a little bit guilty for writing this, as they let me flip through it without first purchasing it. But hey, maybe that's a quid max of guilt money I'd pay.
I don't feel too sorry for Waterstones, as they've always had a large amount of crappy books. However, I really value Blackwells, particularly the one on North Bridge. Being in a physical bookshop gives you a chance to peruse through the whole book, which you still can't get online. Maybe I'm a little old-fashioned, but I like being surrounded by books. Blackwells gives me that, and I'm willing to pay a little, but not a lot, over the minimum to prop up the institution.
We are surely in a transitionary period. At least two other tables in Waterstones had someone reading from an iPad. Next time, I'll look out for kindles. How long before bookshops like this can only afford to carry mainstream pap that punters off the street will buy who can't or won't look up the price online?