"Bookshops and pubs, together with post offices and schools, are the four pillars upon which a local community is built and to my mind no fragile friendship built online can compete."
Over the weekend, Waterstones opened Harpenden Books, "the third shop in the company's portfolio to be named after the town it is based," part of a plan initially announced by Waterstones in 2014 to open "quintessentially local bookshop" locations.
Waterstones managing director James Daunt commented: "We are delighted to bring back to Harpenden a proper bookshop. It builds on the great success we have had with Southwold Books in Suffolk and The Rye Bookshop in Kent, towns which had also lost their shops. We are very proud of these local bookshops which, whilst a lot smaller than a standard Waterstones, are exceptionally attractive and well stocked."