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Westfield’s Waterstones, The Bookshop That Feels Like a Bookshop

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There have been moments recently when stores calling themselves ‘bookshops’ have opened which look rather more like museums or galleries; the sort of places where the shopper might feel a little intimidated about browsing through the volumes on offer.

Not so at the recently launched Waterstones in the Westfield London shopping centre. Here, a very deep unit is all about the books and also about making book lovers feel comfortable in a space that could easily seem more warehouse than store, as a progress is made from front to back.

This is achieved through the simple expedient of creating arch-like wooden baffles that carve the interior up into three rooms with a ‘kids’ book room at the back of the store. The use of wood throughout means that there is a warmth to this environment, in sharp contrast to the minimalist approach that has been a feature of so many new bookshops in the last couple of years.

Finally, and absolutely worth noting, is the window with an outsize pile of books. It would be hard to wander past this one and not want to venture inside.