I think the news that Waterstones will start selling Amazon Kindle in their stores is most welcome; even if some think it is bit of a cop-out for Waterstones. Whereas Barnes & Noble introduced their own e-reader, the Nook, Waterstones do appear to jumping on the success of the Kindle. But why not. After all, the Kindle is t he biggest selling e-reader on the market and it has a pretty good reputation. It has also created a good rep with independent publishers which I'm sure those at Waterstones would love to appease.
As an author I have always loved the look of my local Waterstones.It still has a a certain class, even if it does appear as plastic as a Costa coffee shop sometimes. There is a huge one in Charing Cross Road that I absolutely adore and the idea of walking into a shop and browsing through e-books sound quite appealing to me, almost taking me back to the days when you could listen to an album in Our Price before you purchased.
E-books do not appear to be muscling in on the paperbacks or hardbacks, some reports state that e-book readers, upon liking a book, will then go out and purchase a copy to display in their bookshelves. This is a little like going to the cinema and then buying the dvd 3 months later. Books are changing and attitudes towards them are changing too. The idea that you can carry loads of books a pocket is attractive, especially when, if you're like me, you take three or four books on holiday and then decide you don't want to read any of them!
The experience of going into Waterstones will change and I think this could be for the better. I hope that authors who publish themselves on Amazon are also given an opportunity in this market to show their worth, there are some great books out there to download by authors who just love to write, I would encourage you to start treading through them. Of course, there are some rubbish ones too, but that goes for any format.