Our ex-boss Robert Topping is opening a new shop in Bath following the success of his Ely store.
There's a small piece in the Guardian today that refers to "Topping's slightly eccentric style".
Robert is a character who divides opinion. Bean counters loathe him, book lovers erm love him. I have spoken to many booksellers over the years who refer to Topping's time at Waterstone's Deansgate in Manchester as the time of their lives. I am not surprised to see he is taking a few of those ex-colleagues with him to Bath.
I also wonder how the idiots at Big W must feel now that Topping is coming to town. His version of bookselling will now go head to head with theirs. I know who I would back! (Robert recently filled Ely cathedral with people for a talk by Alan Bennett. The man is a bookselling force of nature whereas the HMV group was described by city bean counters as The Walking Dead - a company with absolutely no future)
Some people will just never get it. Bookselling is about loving books and reading them too, then sharing that experience. Money comes into it as it comes into every aspect of our lives, but it is far from the most important element.
So Go for it Robert, take Bath by storm. Good luck to all those you are taking with you on this exciting journey.