Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Waterstones & HMV

Whilst it may have included an element of PR I was pleased to note the positive post Christmas press releases from both Waterstones and HMV. There seems some evidence that the traditional book is starting to fight back against the electronic book, and that HMV are improving their market share with an increase in demand for cds, but also more interestingly vinyl.

I must admit to owning and using a kindle and for holidays it is difficult to beat with the need to travel with a pile of paperbacks now a thing of the past. However for all the convenience it is not the same as holding an actual book in your hand and turning the pages - which is a physical as well as an intellectual pleasure. This came home to me when I was bought a hardback copy of Bernard Cornwall’s account of the Battle of Waterloo at Christmas. So now it is a question of enjoying the best of both worlds – kindles for holidays and actual books at home.

As for HMV it was a sad moment when it appeared that it would be disappearing from our High Street and over recent weeks I have made a particular effort to support them. I am not a convert to downloaded music – for me nothing beats the pleasure of a new album with artwork and blurb to enjoy and the added benefit of enjoying the tracks in the order intended by the artist. I still miss the sound quality of my old LPs and the added impact of an LP cover but will not be tempted away from my cds. The risk of scratches and the shorter play length don’t quite work although I still have all my old LPs on display even if many of them have been replaced by cds.

So good luck to both Waterstones and HMV over the coming months who remain such important elements of our remaining High Street.

1 comment:

  1. Do you use the lyrics that I presume they still provide in the blurb to assist with your karaoke performances to your poor family?! :-)

    I can't remember the last time I purchased a music CD... probably not in the current decade.

    I suppose the LP cover of , rather than scratched plastic case covering the flimsy bit of paper in it, may have made more of an impact on my shelf, but the CD is now easier to hide to prevent any future embarrassment.

    On a serious note, I agree it is great to see the success not only of national chains such as Waterstones and HMV, but also the local shops we have on Southend High Street who have survived some very difficult trading conditions. National or local, they provide local jobs for Southend residents, as well as giving other residents access to a wide variety of goods without the need to travel to big retail parks. It is just a shame the new council administration seems less supportive of the High Street than the previous one, by charging residents more to shop locally - it is free at Lakeside....