Just like Borders in 1931
by Kelvin Smith
When William Young Darling published (anonymously) The Private Papers of a Bankrupt Bookseller in 1931 , the text may not have been entirely fictional. After eighty years there are resonances for the current Border’s bankruptcy.
When the situation gets serious, the bookseller recognizes that the “publishers haven’t been bad really. There is no other business, I am sure, where they treat creditors with more consideration, but things are too tangled for any remedy I can see“.
With the bank, it is a different matter.
If I go tomorrow and see the bank they will give me more time. They must. If they give me a little longer things will improve. The book trade is like everything else, it is passing through a phase of depression. I can bring it round. I will work hard. I won’t waste time writing or talking too much. I will be keen. I will change my windows every week and dust the place properly. My personal appearance, I will improve that.
It won’t do. It won’t do.
They have no more patience for me. They can let my shop to that man next door and he will fill my windows with knickers and hats and God only knows what inconceivable muck.
What will fill the windows of all those empty Border’s stores?
Anon (William Young Darling), The Private Papers of a Bankrupt Bookseller, 1931