I was passing some time in the Reading branch of Waterstones today – not the beautifully converted United Reform church on Broad Street, but the rather more modern branch (with embedded Costa Coffee ) in the Oracle shopping centre – and was impressed by this. I’ve seen staff recommendations before, but in this branch there was a full section of recommendation. Each of four members of staff had, under a printed sign, 6 or 8, yard-long shelves of recommendations, each shelf with 4 or 5 books on a topic. Thus, Michael’s Recommendations, under “My Music” includes Bob Dylan’s Chronicles and a biography of Joe Strummer. Above that, was his shelf of recommended food and cookery books. Rachael has a taste for dark horror and fantasy, along with female rockers like Joan Jett and Patti Smith. Every book, has a hand-written recommendation by the staff memory
It’s an array, impressive in its scale, which speaks quietly of passion and expertise.