Bookshop Manager in the Spotlight! Keith from @WaterstonesFort

Portobello book blog photo

My nearest bookshop is Waterstones in a local retail park, about five minutes drive from my house. The shop has recently moved and there is to be a grand re-opening tomorrow. Today I’m pleased to be joined by the shop manager Keith, who is chatting about his reading habits, his favourite things about working in a bookshop and tells me a bit about the move as well.

Thanks for agreeing to visit the blog Keith. First of all, would you tell me a little about yourself?

I have worked for Waterstones for 10 years now. Books have always been one of my major passions.

What books/authors did you enjoy as a child?

As a child I particularly loved the “Alfred Hitchcock & The 3 Investigators” books. One summer in Belgium I happened upon a copy of “The Godfather”, & devoured it in a 3 day reading jag. I was 12, & from then on my favourite authors were Ian Fleming, Alistair MacLean & Desmond Bagley. I also loved novelisations of Clint Eastwood movies, because I was too young to get into “X” cert movies at the time. Videos still hadn’t been invented back then.

What do you enjoy most about working in a bookshop?

Talking to people about books and writer related topics is the main thing I enjoy about working in a bookshop.

Just yesterday I recommended Eva Ibbotson’s wonderful “Journey To The River Sea” to a customer.

She seemed absolutely delighted with my enthusing. Wee moments like that make it a pleasure.

Your shop has just moved within Kinnaird Park – why and what was the move like?

We had been in a huge unit, that we used to share with HMV & Starbucks, but the park wanted to redevelop the unit, so we had to move. Luckily there was an empty unit across the road, so after building a first floor into the unit, and many booksellers drafted in from our Princes Street branch we moved the locks, the stocks & the barrels across the road on two of the hottest May days on record.

What are the plans for the grand re-opening?

           Mary Paulson-Ellis  

For our Grand reopening, we are having Mary Paulson-Ellis do our ribbon cutting at 11:30 am and signing copies of her book. We have the Gruffalo appearing,  storytime and activities for children throughout the day.

Are there social media accounts for the shop eg Twitter or a Facebook page?

The shop has Facebook waterstonesfortkinnaird, Twitter @WaterstonesFort & Instagram -waterstonesfortkinnaird.

What’s your favourite book you’ve read in the past year? Or favourite three if you really can’t choose. 

My favourite books in this past year are “The Tucci Cookbook” by Stanley Tucci. Cool guy, cool stories & great recipes. That and “Crash Land”, Doug Johnstone’s latest book.

             The Tucci Cookbook by [Tucci, Stanley]      Crash Land by [Johnstone, Doug]

What are you reading just now? 


I’m currently reading “The Power” by Naomi Alderman, this years winner of the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for fiction.


If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?

For my desert island selection it would have to be T.H. White’s magnificent retelling of the Arthurian legends, “The Once & Future King”.

The Once and Future King by [White, T. H.]


Is there a book you’d like to see made into a film? Who would be in your dream cast?

Made into a film? That would be “Jupiter’s Legacy”, an amazing super-hero dystopia comic by Mark Millar & Frank Quitely. Dream cast: Arnie, Krysten Ritter, Luke Evans & Ryan Hansen (he played Dick Casablancas in “Veronica Mars”)

Jupiter's Legacy Vol. 1 by [Millar, Mark]

And finally, if you could be a character in any book, who would it be and why?

Any character, any book? Batman. If you must be someone, be Batman.

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