So, the main news of the day is that Waterstones has signed a deal with Amazon to sell Kindle ebooks through its store. I kid you not. You can read about it for yourself on the Bookseller or watch James Daunt making the announcement on this YouTube video:
There have been many mixed reactions in the publishing world and beyond, but overall there has been a lot of confusion. I stand amongst the confused, and the reason for that is partly due to an article posted only yesterday on the Guardian website which finishes up with '"We'll be different from Amazon," he [Daunt] says, with characteristic ebullience, "and we'll be better."' Furthermore, Daunt is the last person I would have imagined making a deal with Amazon.
Now, I am no expert in ereaders or the digital revolution; though I am passionate about it, I know there is so much for me to learn and understand. But that is the whole point: the majority of readers are probably equally, or even more, ignorant of the detailed mechanics and politics of the digital reading revolution, and many probably don't particularly care – they simply want good books at a good price. As far as many are concerned, Amazon is a force not to be competed with, and it is the best company because it is so cheap, and many of them will be happy with this new partnership. On the other hand, there is a significant body of readers who do not want to be tied to Amazon, who have other e-readers, and who are desperate for those other e-readers to be given a fair chance - I know this for a fact because I have come across them.