Waterstones has either joined up in a brilliant venture or gone over to the dark side.
Depends on how you feel about Amazon.
The brick and mortar book vendor is going to sell the Amazon Kindle in its stores. Perfect when you're looking for a last-minute gift and you can't wait for delivery.
But is Waterstones welcoming in their executioner?
The stores will offer wi-fi access, so a buyer could not only pick up a Kindle but could download a few books, with Waterstones getting a piece of the pie.
Because the buyers are in a store with physical books, it's conceivable that someone could browse the shelves and buy from Amazon, which is already happening, but they could make that purchase through Waterstone, which is currently getting nothing.
Bookstores are increasingly becoming display spaces for Amazon's online selections, but it's no way to run a business if you're planning on paying the rent on your space out of your profits on sales.
By joining up with a company that they cannot beat, Waterstones hopes to get something out of the current practices of the book-buying public.
It's all to the good for Amazon, which lacks a physical presence. Not that such a lack has hurt them, but it does limit growth.
Add to that the fact that Barnes & Noble has teemed with Microsoft to do the same for the Nook and you can see why Amazon would be particularly keen to get into the shops somewhere.
Down the line, however, will Waterstones be consumed by Amazon as the behemoth book seller expands its reach? Is this the first step in Amazon's quest to corner the book market?
First we take England....then we take Berlin...Manhattan's in sight.