Books That Aren’t Books

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Bookstores around the world have been working to reinvent themselves in the wake of Amazon’s rise, and stocking gift items has been a chief tactic. If you’ve never been to a Waterstone’s in the UK, here’s a sampling of what it’s like:

Gifts now seem to take up as much space as books, at least on the tables, where the prettiest paperbacks are distributed among Orla Kiely pots and enamel cups. There are horticultural tables, literary themed gifts (Penguin does a good line in pencil cases and tote bags), sewing kits and appliqué sets next to the craft books.


Kelly Lynn Thomas reads, writes, and sometimes sews in Pittsburgh, PA. Her creative work has appeared in Sou’wester, Thin Air Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, metazen, and others, and she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. She is hopelessly obsessed with Star Wars and can always be found with a large mug of tea. She also runs the very small Wild Age Press. Read more at kellylynnthomas.com. More from this author →