Alexander Mamut, the Russian millionnaire who owns Waterstones, has announced the opening of a Russian bookshop in the flagship store in Piccadilly. Placed on the ground floor mezzanine level and run by Russian-speaking booksellers, the shop will boast over 5,000 titles in Mamut’s native language. Classics such as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov will be joined by writers such as Boris Akunin and Polina Dashkova, Russia’s most successful crime writer. This is the next stage in Mr Mamut’s plan to revitalise Waterstones under James Daunt, by serving the local community, and by starting with Russian Londoners. The bookshop, named “Slova”, the Russian word for, well, “word”, comes alongside the announcement that Russian president Vladimir Putin is planning a 100-book canon for all Russian students.
What do you think of the Russian bookstore? And do you think there should be more foreign-language bookstores in Waterstones in the future?