Interestingly in the unpicking of the poor figures from HMV the performance of Waterstones came in for some criticism. It seems a bit strange that only a few months ago we were all being told that books were a luxury item that survived any downturn.
The idea was that faced with gloom and doom the average person would want some escapism and one of the cheapest but most sure ways of getting that was through books.
So the figures have undermined that. Mind you according to some reports what has been hit hardest is celebrity biographies. Who wants to read about how rich and famous some people are in the current situation is maybe escaping too far into bitterness.