Tim Waterstone – A Bookseller’s Memoir


February 8, 2019


An evocative and candid reflection on the life of Britain’s most successful bookseller

Tim Waterstone is one of Britain’s most successful business people, having built the Waterstones empire that started with one bookshop in 1982.

Join him in conversation as he recalls the childhood experiences that led him to become an entrepreneur and outlines the business philosophy that enabled Waterstones to dominate the bookselling business throughout the country.

Tim explores his formative years in a small town in rural England at the end of World War Two, and the troubled relationship he had with his father, as well as the epiphany he had while studying at Cambridge which set him on the road to Waterstones and gave birth to the creative strategy that made him a high street name.

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 Waterstones 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. In 2018 he was knighted for services to bookselling and charity.

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