I'd be interested in observations from American readers about Borders Books.
I went into the San Francisco branch the other week and I was astonished by how good it was. In terms of backstock of classics, at least, it was extremely comprehensive - about four shelves of Dickens, two or three of Dostoevsky, pretty much complete runs of the modern greats - Roth, Updike, McCarthy etc, and an impressive array of notable authors. Even RF Delderfield was there in force, and I can't remember the last time I saw him in an England shop. I can't say about its coverage of contemporary fiction because I don't know it well enough. I did pick up Ron Rash's Serena, but not his others. But otherwise, as I say, impressive.
Borders UK went bust just before last Christmas, and no wonder. Their shop in Cambridge, probably not that much smaller than the San Francisco branch, nonetheless had nothing like the range of stock. A huge chunk of the store was given over to non-book materials, and it had the same lame array of fiction you find in Waterstone's: the current and maybe the last novel by most decent authors, only the odd exception, like Ian McEwan, afforded a complete backstock. Classics: separated out into a couple of bays. I expected to find much the same in America, so you can imagine my surprise.
How are Borders viewed over there?