|30 May 1939
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
|St Catharine's College, Cambridge
Sir Tim Waterstone (born 30 May 1939) is a British bookseller, businessman and author. He is the founder of Waterstones, the United Kingdom-based bookselling retail chain, the largest in Europe.
Tim Waterstone was born on 30 May 1939 in Glasgow, Scotland. His father worked for a Glasgow tea company for over fifty years.He grew up in "a rather cramped, 1930s detached house ... Ugly, unpretentious, nice big garden, fields at the end of it" in Crowborough, East Sussex, England. He was educated at Tonbridge School and St Catharine's College, Cambridge, where he read English.
Waterstone worked for a broking firm in Calcutta, India.Upon his return to England he worked as a marketing manager for Allied Breweries, 1964–73 and then W.H. Smith, 1973–81.
Waterstone founded the bookselling chain Waterstone's in 1982, after he took a £6,000 redundancy payment from W.H. Smith. He set up his first branch in Old Brompton Road, Kensington, west London, his personal model being of heavily stocked and heavily marketed literary bookselling in stores ranging from the large to the huge (Waterstone's London Piccadilly), driven by the recruitment of highly read staff, almost all Oxbridge or Russell Group arts graduates straight out of university, (many of whom went on in time to build prominent careers across the arts world in general). The model was successful, and by ten years later, 1992, Waterstone's had grown to be the largest bookselling group in Europe.[ citation needed ] He became the founder chairman of HMV Media Group in 1998, which merged the businesses of Waterstone's and HMV. He left the group in 2001.
Waterstone chaired the DTI Working Group on Smaller Quoted Companies and Private Investors in 1999.He was a founder investor in Bookberry, a Moscow booksellers modelled on Waterstone's. He became the chairman of Read Petite, an e-book company, in 2013.
Waterstone has published four novels: Lilley & Chase (Hodder 1994), An Imperfect Marriage (Hodder 1995), A Passage of Lives (Hodder 1996) and In For A Penny In For A Pound (Atlantic 2010).His short story The Tiffany Glass Panel was published in The Mail on Sunday in 1994. He has published a semi-autobiographical business book, Swimming Against The Stream (Macmillan 2006) and many articles in the arts and business media. His memoir, The Face Pressed Against A Window was published by Atlantic Books in February 2019, as was the audiobook of the memoir, which he personally narrated. He appeared as a castaway in the BBC Radio programme Desert Island Discs broadcast on 4 August 2019.
Waterstone was a chairman or board member of English International (1987–1992), the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1990–1997), Portman House Trust (1994–1996), the Academy of Ancient Music (1990–1995), Sinclair-Stevenson Publishers (1989-1994), Virago Press (1993–1995), Jazz FM (1991–1993), the London International Festival of Theatre (1990–1992), the Elgar Foundation (1992–1998), the British Library (1995–1997), King's College London Library (2000–2002), Yale University Press (1992–2013), Chelsea Stores (1996–2007), FutureStart (1992–2009), Virago Press (1995–1996), Hill Samuel UK Emerging Companies Investment Trust plc (1996–2000) and Downing Classic VCT (1998–2003).
He has sat on the Booker Prize Management Committee, and acted as the Chairman of Judges for the Prince's Youth Business Trust Awards.He served as a member of the visiting committee of Cambridge University Library (2007–2013). He chaired Shelter's 25th Anniversary Appeal. He served as Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University (2007–2015).
Waterstone supports the Labour Party (he chose Clement Attlee as his 'hero' in the initial 2001 BBC Radio 4 series Great Lives).He was opposed to the Iraq War and took part in demonstrations against it. Waterstone is a campaigner for the three parties of the Left to merge into a new Labour Liberal Green Party - the LLG - so that their votes are no longer dispersed over the three, increasing the chance of electoral success. He is a campaigner also for the democratically desirable proportional representation of House of Lords membership, based on the general election popular vote. He proposes a membership of 500 peers appointed off party lists, and a further 100 from crossbenchers, to be selected by the Appointments Commission and chosen in the interests of special groupings, particularly regional ones.
Waterstone is twice divorced.He is married to TV and film producer and novelist Rosie Alison. They have eight children, one of them being actress Daisy Waterstone. He resides in Holland Park, London.
Waterstone is a member of the Garrick Club.He is an Honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge. He was knighted in the 2018 Birthday Honours for services to bookselling and to charity.
Katherine Louise Mosse is a British novelist, non-fiction and short story writer and broadcaster. She is best known for her 2005 novel Labyrinth, which has been translated into more than 37 languages. She co-founded in 1996 the annual award for best UK-published English-language novel by a woman that is now known as the Women's Prize for Fiction.
W & G Foyle Ltd. is a bookseller with a chain of seven stores in England. It is best known for its flagship store in Charing Cross Road, London. Foyles was once listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest bookshop in terms of shelf length, at 30 miles (48 km), and of number of titles on display. It was bought by Waterstones in 2018.
Waterstones Booksellers Limited, trading as Waterstones, is a British book retailer that operates 311 shops, mainly in the United Kingdom and also other nearby countries. As of February 2014, it employs around 3,500 staff in the UK and Europe. An average-sized Waterstones shop sells a range of approximately 30,000 individual books, as well as stationery and other related products.
Blackwell UK, also known as Blackwell's and Blackwell Group, is a British academic book retailer and library supply service owned by Waterstones. It was founded in 1879 by Benjamin Henry Blackwell, after whom the chain is named, on Broad Street, Oxford. The brand now has a chain of 18 shops, and an accounts and library supply service. It employs around 1000 staff in its divisions.
Sunrise Records and Entertainment, trading as HMV, is a British based music and entertainment retailer, currently operating in the European countries of Belgium, Ireland and the United Kingdom
Ottakar's was a chain of bookshops in the United Kingdom founded in 1987 by James Heneage. Following a takeover by the HMV Group in 2006, the chain was merged into the Waterstone's brand.
Hatchards is an English bookshop claiming to be the oldest in the United Kingdom, founded on Piccadilly in 1797 by John Hatchard. After one move, it has been at the same location on Piccadilly next to Fortnum & Mason since 1801, and the two stores are also neighbours in St. Pancras railway station as of 2014. It has a reputation for attracting high-profile authors and holds three royal warrants granted by King Charles III, Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Philip respectively.
William Alfred Westropp Foyle (1885–1963) was a British bookseller and businessman who co-founded Foyles bookshop in 1903 with his brother Gilbert Foyle.
James Thin Ltd was a British bookshop chain, founded by James Thin in 1848. It operated for 154 years, during which time it was run by five generations of the Thin family. Starting from a single shop in Edinburgh, it grew to a national concern with 35 branches throughout Scotland and England. In 2002, following a period of rapid expansion, it went into voluntary administration, after which most of its shops were purchased by other companies in the book trade.
Dillons was a British bookseller founded in 1936, named after its founder and owner Una Dillon. Originally based in Bloomsbury in London, the company expanded under subsequent owners Pentos in the 1980s into a bookselling chain across the United Kingdom. In 1995 Pentos went into receivership and sold Dillons to Thorn EMI, which immediately closed 40 of the 140 Dillons bookstore locations. Of the remaining 100 stores, most kept the name Dillons, while the remainder were Hatchards and Hodges Figgis. Within Thorn EMI, Dillons was placed in the HMV Group, which had been a division of Thorn EMI since 1986. EMI demerged from Thorn in August 1996, and Dillons-HMV remained an EMI holding. Dillons was subsumed under rival chain Waterstones' branding in 1999, at which point the brand ceased to exist.
Hodges Figgis is a long-operating bookshop in central Dublin, Ireland. Founded in 1768, it is probably the third-oldest functioning bookshop in the world, after the Livraria Bertrand of Lisbon (1732) and Pennsylvania's Moravian Book Shop (1745). It was moved and expanded numerous times, and arrived at 56 Dawson Street in 1979, and gradually expanded to take its current form of four floors at 56-58 Dawson Street in 1992. It is mentioned in James Joyce's modernist novel Ulysses, at the time of which it would have been situated at 104 Grafton Street, and the novel Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney, and in other writings.
John Agard FRSL is a Guyanese playwright, poet and children's writer, now living in Britain. In 2012, he was selected for the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. He was awarded BookTrust's Lifetime Achievement Award in November 2021.
Henry Dennistoun "Dennis" Stevenson, Baron Stevenson of Coddenham, is a British businessman and former chairman of HBOS. He sat on the crossbenches in the House of Lords from 1999 until his retirement in 2023.
Borders (UK) Ltd., also known as Borders & Books etc., was established as a Borders Group subsidiary in 1998, and in 2007 became independent of the US parent company. At its peak after separation from the US parent, it traded from its 41 Borders and 28 BOOKS etc. shops with over one million square feet of retail space, taking around 8% of the retail bookselling market. In 2008 and 2009 the store numbers were reduced before the collapse of the chain. They also operated one single branch in Ireland, but closed this early in 2009. On 26 November 2009 it was announced that Borders (UK) had gone into administration. All stores closed on 24 December 2009.
Alexander Leonidovich Mamut also spelled Aleksandr, is a Russian billionaire, lawyer, banker and investor. He was until 2020 a co-owner of Rambler Group. He is an Israeli citizen.
The Quarto Group is a global illustrated book publishing group founded in 1976. It is domiciled in the United States and listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The Honourable Timothy Mark Hely Hutchinson is a British publisher, former group CEO of the second largest British publisher, Hachette UK and the second son of the current Earl of Donoughmore.
Sir Simon Michael Hornby was a British businessman. He was chairman of WHSmith, the British retail chain, the Royal Horticultural Society and the Design Council. He founded the National Literacy Trust.
James Heneage is a British historical fiction writer, and the co-founder of the Ottakar’s bookshop chain and the Chalke Valley History Festival.
Mr Tim Waterstone, bookseller, 74