About Us

Welcome to Waterstones 

Waterstones began in 1982 under the aegis of its founder, Tim Waterstone, intent on revolutionising a then somewhat staid British bookselling landscape. Dedicated to bringing books back into the cultural conversation, Waterstone’s fusion of literary range, author events, iconic bookshops and gifted booksellers transformed the idea of what a bookshop could be. In tandem with the steady growth of strong contemporary fiction and narrative non-fiction, the company moved from strength to strength, later under the direction of CEO James Daunt successfully fending off the threat of aggressive online competition and the brief rise of eReaders.

Now trading across the UK, Ireland and Europe in over 290 shopping locations, Waterstones continues to thrive, each year actively pursuing a programme of new bookshop openings. Online at Waterstones.com, we meanwhile mirror the essence of our bookshops, further showcasing the unique enthusiasm and knowledge of our booksellers. Via initiatives such as our Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize, we take enormous pleasure in being custodians of the new, whilst with our carefully-curated range we recognise our role as ambassadors of the past. Our Waterstones Children's Book Prize has become an important mainstay of children’s publishing, its winners becoming superstars in their field (you can get a sense of the impact a win makes here), and our Waterstones Book of the Year is the highpoint of our publishing calendar, our chance to bring the widest possible readership to the books we most love.


Waterstones Bradford Wool Exchange interiorWaterstones Bradford Wool Exchange - a most idiosyncratic bookshop.


Books, however, are not all; in many of our bookshops, customers will receive the warmest of welcomes in our Café Ws, where reading, conversation and delicious, sustainably-sourced coffee are the order of the day. From plush toys to beautiful gifting and greetings cards, we are also that one-stop-shop when you are seeking that special something, whilst our ever-expanding games range (led by our unique Games Flagships) mirrors the exciting surge in gaming as a hobby. Finally, each year our iconic events programme and literary festival support brings thousands of readers that much closer to the authors they cherish.

With over 290 locations to choose from, you can find your nearest Waterstones using our shop finder here, and we invite every customer to join the millions who are already members of Waterstones Plus, our generous rewards programme. Aside from a wealth of member extras, in both our bookshops and our website Waterstones Plus sees you earn as you spend, making reading even more rewarding.

Whether in shop or online, welcome to Waterstones!

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