Sainsbury’s bookshop chain of the year

Awarding an industry prize to Sainsbury’s seems idiotic, like awarding a peace prize to Tony Blair. — The Guardian

Fact: Sainsbury’s was devised as a retail buffer zone to keep the riffraff out of Waitrose. — Jasper Fforde

Sainsbury’s! Bookshop chain! An award!

Someone’s idea of a sick joke?

Sainsbury’s: your new local bookshop?

Sainsbury’s is a supermarket. The one near me is a superstore. Half a town centre, many businesses were destroyed, social housing was destroyed for its car park.

Books consist of one side of an aisle sandwiched between the chill cabinets and clothes.

When supermarkets offer buy one get one free, this is not down to the generosity of the supermarket. The supplier supplies the free one. I guess the same applies to books.

Jamie Oliver has a new book out. £9-99 in Sainsbury’s, £30 cover price.

Supermarkets are killing independent bookshops.

Travel Bookshop to close

Jamie Oliver has done much to raise food awareness. Maybe now he should be doing something for small bookshops before they are all lost.

Waterstone’s may have blotted their copybook with the Aleph debacle, but they are at least a bookshop chain.

Paulo Coelho in Waterstone’s and the author the publisher forgot

Sainsbury’s is not a bookshop chain. It is a supermarket that sells books.

Of late I have shopped in Waitrose. To shop in Sainsbury’s is to join the riffraff. The best that can be said is that it is better than Asda-Walmart!

How does one justify an award to Sainsbury’s?

We should celebrate the fact that they are embracing books and offering people an alternative place to buy – somewhere they can spend time browsing as well as buying.

What utter bollocks!

But let us check out a Sainsbury’s, which is what I did. Not one side of an aisle as I thought, but half of one side. Let’s give it the Aleph test.

No Aleph, now there’s a surprise! I asked at what is jokingly called an Information Point. Aleph please. The girl looked at me blankly: What’s that? A book, Aleph by Paulo Coelho. Don’t read. She asked me how to spell and checked the computer system. No, we do not have, cannot be popular or well known. I patiently explained that it was a worldwide bestseller, released in US on Tuesday and already No1 on Amazon, that Paulo Coelho had more followers on facebook than Madonna. Don’t use facebook. She then used a phone to seek further help, again I was asked to spell Aleph. No, we do not have, try ordering on-line.

I walked out wondering why Sainsbury’s had an award as bookshop chain of the year when it is not even a bookshop chain, why the least able are manning an information point.

I feel I am in a surreal world. A parody of Nineteen Eighty-Four. Where supermarkets are book chains, where publishers forget their writers, where war criminals are appointed peace envoys.

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