Tim Waterstone read English at Cambridge University before moving to Calcutta to work for a broking firm. On returning to England, he worked at W.H. Smith for eight years, and went on to establish the bookselling chain Waterstone's in 1982. He became the founder chairman of HMV media group in 1998, which he left in 2001. He is currently the chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University and a board member of Yale University Press, as well as being a novelist and business speaker.