James Daunt

James Daunt was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2017.

James Daunt is the founder of Daunt Books – now a chain of six bookshops across London which manage to combine an independent ethos with commercial success. They are renowned for their good-quality stock, knowledgeable staff and literary events, and for welcoming customers to browse and read in comfortable chairs. In 2011, Daunt became Managing Director of Waterstone’s, which at the time was in danger of collapse. He has returned the company to profit, as well as reviving the company’s reputation with discerning book buyers. In an era when most book sales take place in supermarkets or online, Daunt has ensured the presence of bookshops on Britain’s high streets. Since August 2019, he has also been CEO of Barnes & Noble, the American bookstore chain.