WH Smith, with its eclectic mix of magazines, stationery, books and records, played a special part in my life for a while. In fact, during my early teenage years, I reckon it was the shop I spent more time in than any other.
Back then, I could quite happily spend hours looking through the record racks, seeking some album that wasn’t there the last time I looked (probably the previous weekend).
And when I’d studied every record sleeve (again), there was always a whole rack full of magazines thoughtfully provided by the shop each week for me to browse while waiting for my lift home.
As I got older, it also became something of a social meeting place which, if only we had realised it at the time, was probably crying out for an in-store Starbucks.
Now that I’m back in the UK, I’m pleased to see that my new home also has a prominent WH Smith in the town centre and, despite the lack of LPs to riffle through, I’m delighted to note its reassuring presence, stoically resisting the relentless digital assault on all things paper-related.