Borders closed today, so I went down to have a look. The shelves were pretty bare by the time I got there; the books had been piled up on tables, and packs of people were frantically scavenging among them. Everything had been reduced by 90% of its face value. Looking round I thought to myself, it must be humiliating to be an author and to come across one of your books here still unsold: – then I noticed two copies of a novel by litblogger Mark Sarvas. Naturally I didn’t find anything worth buying (just as I hadn’t really when the books were reduced by 20%), though there were others walking out with shopping trolleys piled with books.
Then I went across the road to Foyles and bought some books.
Then I went to Fopp and bought 11 DVDs. (1 as a present, and 10 for myself – Feuillade’s Fantômas, two films by cult Japanese director Seijun Suzuki, and 7 films by François Trauffaut (none of which were Les Quatre Cent Coups or Jules et Jim). Well, if you’re going to sell them for £3 each, I’m going to buy them).
My conclusion: Borders – they went bust because they didn’t sell interesting books or foreign films.