Waterstones to open Russian "bookshop"

Waterstones is to open a Russian-language "bookshop" within its flagship London Piccadilly store in February.

The high street bookseller was bought by Russian oligarch Alexander Mamut’s A&NN Group in June last year, and the businessman was behind the idea to open the new bookshop—which will be called "Slova", Russian for "words".

It will be based on Piccadilly’s ground floor mezzanine level and contain nearly 5,000 titles, taking up 1,200 sq ft of space. The books will be sold by Russian-speaking booksellers.

James Daunt, Waterstones m.d, said the idea for the Russain bookshop was "perfect" for the Piccadilly branch.

"For Russophiles, and the large, vibrant Russian community in London, we aim to make Slova an irresistible literary and cultural destination," he said. "One won’t be surprised at the source of the idea, given Waterstones’ ownership."

Mamut also has a stake in Azbooka-Atticus, a Russian publisher, whose titles Waterstones will stock in Slova along with other Russian-language titles and Russian books in translation, covering areas such as history, art, poetry, fiction, biography and children’s.

Waterstones said the Russian-language titles stocked by Slova have been sourced directly from Russia with the assistance of Boris Kupriyanov, owner of Moscow’s Falanster, Falanster and Tciolkovskiy bookshops.

Slova will also be working closely with Academia Rossica, the Russian culture and arts foundation based in London, in planning author events, book launches and other activities.