Waterstones does ebook jig

Bricks-and-mortar bookshop Waterstone’s has announced plans to release its own ebook reader.

As Amazon consolidates its position as ebook king with its Kindle device, Barnes and Noble's recent entry into the market has inspired Waterstones to follow suit.

Managing director James Daunt told the BBC that having fiddled with Barnes And Noble's Nook, the firm decided to launch its own ebook reader by the summer of 2012.

But, having outlined its intention, Waterstones is keeping a lid on its plans - if it has any beyond, 'Hey, that's a good idea, lets get the Chinese to make us one of those.'

In a statement the firm said it could confirm it was working on "an e-reading proposition" but had no further details to share.

Online outfit Amazon has never revealed precise sales figures for books, but does claim it sells more ebooks for Kindle than real, made-from-trees books - in the US at least.

Britons are Europe’s most prolific ebook buyers, accounting for close to half of all Western European ebook sales, according to a study published in August.