An ex of mine in publishing used to hate my dragging her into remainder bookshops. She saw them as public archives of professional disasters. I love ’em—both because they’re full of cheap, odd books and because they are full of titles that nobody wants to buy. The question I ask about many of the latter is: why did anyone ever think that somebody would want to buy them in the first place?
I remember that arty book discount place next to South Kensington Tube station used to a have a stack of thick, large-format, coffee-table editions of one of the big art publishers’ guides to the Post-Impressionists. A guaranteed small-but-steady seller, you’d think; but not if all the plates reproducing the original works are in black-and-white.
Emptying out a pocket earlier today, I found a list of titles of surefire bin-busters that I saw in a remainder sale a couple of weeks back:
Bono on Bono
Sex, Leadership, and Rock’n’Roll: Leadership Lessons From The Academy of Rock
If you are the sort of saddo who collects these things too, or you found something similarly mystifying on Amazon then do feel free to add your own examples in the comments.