You can find a Waterstones bookstore in almost any city in England. There are around 250 stores, with the majority of them in the UK. Southampton was home to two Waterstones, only a short walk from each other, but unfortunately a fire in their Above Bar store has left the Westquay branch as the only remaining store. While the loss of the Above Bar store is sad, thankfully the Westquay branch has plenty to offer from shelves filled with books of any genre, to stationery, gifts, and even a cafe.
On the top floor you can spot the 'new books' section, but wander a little longer and you'll find sections dedicated to just about any and every genre imaginable. Scattered around the store are tables with recommended reading, these recommendations are a mix of company wide promotions as well as picks from the Westquay staff. The store is well organised, but thankfully there are also plenty of friendly faces that can point you in the right direction if you're after something specific.
The children's area features some reading nooks and a tiny play area, which is definitely attractive to little eyes and helps to foster a good level of excitement about books and reading.
Downstairs, past more books of course, is a cafe. You can sit down for a drink and a quick bite to eat from a range of savoury or sweet small meals. Browse the books first and you might find something new to buy and then read while you nurse your cappuccino.
As well as stocking plenty of books, stationary and gifts, the Westquay store also has frequent events including meet and greet sessions, conversations with the author, signings and more. The best way to keep up to date with what's happening in store is through their Facebook page. You can find out about upcoming events and other news and announcements from the store.
Waterstones Westquay is open from 9am-7pm Monday through to Saturday, with a late 8pm closing time on Thursdays, and from 11am till 5pm on Sundays. As well as all the books stocked in store, you can also shop online and have your books ready to be picked up in store. If your items are in stock they'll usually be ready within 2 hours, but even if they're not you can still put in an order and be notified when they arrive. For more information head to the Waterstones website or visit the Waterstones Westquay Facebook page.