How a bookstore can speak volumes

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I wandered into the high-street news agent and bookstore WH Smith near one of the places where I work yesterday, and idly spent a moment looking for books about sailing.

Although this was a good-sized shop, the sailing section amounted to just two books on sailing topics, and there was nothing to indicate that there was any sort of section.

So for comparison, I glanced at the huge football section. As I scanned its many shelves, I came to a section marked Hooliganism. It wasn’t a small section – in fact, it occupied about a foot of shelf space.

Makes you think, doesn’t it? Back to boats, I say – they’re so much pleasanter to contemplate!

5 thoughts on “How a bookstore can speak volumes”

  1. WH Smiths is crap. Where in London Can I buy Woodenboat magazine, and are there others along a similar line published in Britain? I only find PBO (which is good) and sometimes Yachting Monthly

  2. Hey – I'm in agreement about contemplation of boats versus sweaty men in shorts but in some ways I think it's a good thing that sailing has a lowish profile.

    I mean I am quite happy if I can find a place to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet on the water and that's getting harder with more and more people taking up watersports. Perhaps I am just being selfish?

    Perhaps WHS could devote some shelf space to Jetski and powerboating under the heading 'Marine Hooliganism'?

  3. Gavin – most of the bigger newsstands will have Classic Boat, which is a slightly lower-key and more defocused equivalent of Woodenboat.

    For people more interested in the boatbuilding side of it all, there's Watercraft, but that's now very hard to find on a newsstand. I don't know why, but I guess it has to do with big corporations maximising their profitability by minimising the lines they offer customers. See

  4. Steve – Your point is well made, and it's definitely one of the things I found myself considering. One point is the so many jetski users look like they could have an alternative career as football hooligans.


  5. My local newsagent stocks Watercraft, but as it's in yottie HQ at Bosham that is hardly surprising. But even there, they have no fewer than six magazines devoted to tractors. We have to face it – small boats are a minority persuit.

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