I wandered into Tesco's this morning (around 6:05 am!!!!) and there was a big pile of books by the entrance. This can denote one of two things either a) there's a new Harry Potter out or b) there is a new Dan Brown out. Guess what it was the latter.
Yes the Lost Symbol by Dan Brown was out. There was a big stack of hardback books at £7, I just strolled past I will buy a copy when it comes out in paperback. There is a lot of snobbery about Brown, ok he's no Dickens but he does tell a great story.
The thing that does worry me is that independent book sellers can't even buy it for £7 so they either sell it at a loss or more likely don't even bother.
Now books are somewhere that supermarkets are restricting choice. Usually all you're find is 30 or so best sellers in hard and paperback. Given the discounts they get the supermarkets undercut independents restricting the amount of sales. And they also keep people from independents. "Oh 2 for £7? I pick up the new xxxxx and I need something else so....".
Independents have to specialise (children's books) or offer superb service.
The other problems for bookshops is Amazon. Amazon will deliver it to your door and offer you a decent discount.
Now I use Amazon alot (it's so darned convenient) but there is nothing like strolling around a bookshop and the tactile feel of a book. I just wish our independents were given an even break.