As part of our exciting new partnership with Waterstones, we’ve been working closely with the team at Waterstones Doncaster. Their expertise, alongside that of our own consultants, is helping us bring you the very best in children’s literature as part of Cornerstones Book Club.
Their passion for books is infectious, so with the official launch of Cornerstones Book Club, we’d like to introduce you to the team behind the books.
Joe Whittington, Bookshop Manager
Joe is the manager at Waterstones Doncaster. He’s been selling books for ten years, having started out as a Bookseller before working his way up to his current position. He grew up in Brighton but made the move to South Yorkshire to be with his fiancée, who teaches at a local school.
Joe said: “I’ve always loved books so it’s a pleasure to be working with them day in, day out. I enjoy a broad range of genres, from contemporary fiction and non-fiction to thrillers and sci-fi, so it’s safe to say I’m a big book fan!
“At Waterstones Doncaster, I tend to be the one who seeks out Waterstones’ Book of the Month as soon as they’re announced so I can be one of the first to read them and recommend them to customers. There’s always a variety of great titles so I’m never disappointed.
“I absolutely love chatting to our customers though – in fact it’s my favourite thing to do. I love listening to what they like and pointing them to titles I think they’ll enjoy. When customers then come back into the shop and tell me how much they enjoyed one of my recommendations, it really makes my day!”
Paul Horsman, Senior Bookseller
Paul is a Senior Bookseller and children’s book specialist at Waterstones. He’s been a bookseller in Doncaster for ten years and has a passion for children’s literature, as he explains: “I’m a big fan of adventure stories and there are so many amazing titles for children. It’s a real joy to look after the children’s section.
“The Harry Potter books are my personal favourites and I love that they continue to find a new audience with every new generation of readers. It really is magical to see! I’m also a bit of a book collector so I’m always looking out for signed copies and special editions by my favourite authors.
“I’m also involved with the Doncaster Book Awards, which is run in conjunction with local schools here in Doncaster. I help out with the big author visits as part of the awards and it’s incredibly rewarding, especially seeing the faces of children when they get to meet their favourite authors. It’s also a great opportunity to learn how books are brought to life. I’m always fascinated to discover the inspiration behind an author’s book.”
Leilah Skelton, Senior Bookseller
Leilah is a Senior Bookseller who has also been selling books in Doncaster for ten years. She has a real enthusiasm for children’s picture books as well as books by new and emerging authors. Leilah said: “I’m from Doncaster so I feel very lucky to be working within my own local community to share the wonder of stories.
“I like to split my reading between debut literary fiction and picture books. I particularly love the brilliant and often imaginative titles aimed at our youngest readers. My artistic background means that I tend to gravitate towards books that are very visual, which is why I love picture books so much. There are some wonderfully engaging ones around at the moment by some very talented authors and illustrators.
“I do a lot of connecting with authors and readers outside of the shop too, through online book reviews and social media, and I also run a book club in the shop here in Doncaster every month so I’ve become very well known for my enthusiasm for books!
“I love matching people’s book tastes to the latest titles by the best new authors and pride myself on keeping up to date with the very latest releases so I can always recommend new books to readers. It’s really important to me to see children developing a lifelong love of reading too so it’s a real honour to work alongside Cornerstones to help make this happen!”