Sarah Clarke, children’s buying manager for Waterstone’s, said: "While it may make sense to booksellers to keep teen books with children’s, that does not necessarily make sense for the people that want to read them.
We want to do anything we can to make the transition from children's books to adult ones an easy one and, by taking young adult books out of the children's section, we hope to remove any stigma of being seen to buy ‘kids books’ for image-conscious teens.”
The new sections will be located outside the children’s areas and will not distinguish between teen and slightly older YA titles, as readers view them as one and the same, said Clarke. Stock will reflect current trends, including “a lot of ‘dark fantasy’ which is still big, romance, thrillers, dystopian visions of the future, and some adult fiction that teens read", Clarke added.
Paranormal fiction still accounts for a significant percentage of teen sales with vampire fans still looking for their next read, said Clarke.
While paranormal sales are likely to decline, Clarke said Waterstone’s still intends to maintain the new teen sections.
US booksellers have long separated teen sections from their children’s areas and it is a model that publishers have called for in the UK.
Waterstone's rolling out new teen sections next month:
Tim Waterstone is reportedly assembling a management team for Waterstone's with a view of returning the chain to its stock-holding roots, as speculation mounts about a bid. The weekend press extensively reported on the future of Waterstone's after HMV Group announced on 25th March it was seeking "strategic options" for the book chain.