I’m seldom moved by the closure of something so mundane as a shop, after all they do come and go on the high street, these days with ever increasing frequency. But this is different, this is personal.
I discovered the sad news via Twitter that my favourite bookshop and coffee bar is to close in February 2014. I suppose the writing was on the wall. The academic section on the top floor has been empty for a while and Waterstones had opened a ‘flagship’ store in Liverpool One. This new bookstore is large and well-stocked but it just doesn’t have, for want of a better word, ‘soul’ like the Bold Street bookshop. It’s too clinical and corporate – too spacious even. For me the old Bold Street Waterstones had everything a good bookshop should have. Multiple floors, well-stocked shelves, a good choice and an excellent children’s section. The staff were always helpful and the place had a small and ‘family’ feel about it.
Over the years I have always spent time there every week, often to buy books for myself, my wife Gina or close friends. I made a point of purchasing my Christmas gifts there in the last few years as I wanted to give the place a fighting chance. Not that my small endeavours would ever amount to a rescue package – but I did make the attempt. I would even see a book I wanted on line, make a copy of the ISBN no etc and order it from the book counter at Waterstones Bold Street. They would even send me a text once it had arrived. Sure, it was a slower way of getting my books, but so what – the shop was far more important.
But all this has been to no avail and the fine old place is to close after all. I’m devastated and looking at the torrent of tweets I’m not alone.
I can only hope that the staff in the bookshop and in the Costas coffee bar all manage to find work elsewhere.
Bold Street has lost a jewel and will never be the same again. So farewell Waterstones you will be sadly missed but never forgotten.