Today's Guardian usefully sums up the disastrous state of bookselling today. On page 13 Waterstone's has taken out a big advert promoting Nigella Christmas for under a tenner, less than half price. For a penny under half price the main literary bookseller in the UK will sell you the Guinness Book of Records, and for the same low retail price you can buy a volume of letters to their younger selves by Rolf Harris, Jonathan Ross, the racist bigot Alan Carr and others of that ilk.
One page 19 WH Smith offer up to 75% off another bundle of useless books that is only redeemed by the presence of Andrew Marr's book on Modern Britain. The Guinness Book of Records is a tenner though - you can save a penny by sticking with Waterstone's.
Two pages on, Borders, in their last gasp, is offering up to 60% off their stock as they are closing down. I'd never noticed their mission statement printed next to their logo before - "Let's escape" it says. And they will, as fixtures and fittings are also up for sale.
Look again at the figures.... half price at Waterstone's, up to 75% off at Smiths, up to 60% off at a chain that is closing at Xmas.
Someone trying to tell us something here?