MBS stands for ‘Mind Body Spirit’, and is the category used by publishers for books on Spirituality/New Age/Popular Psychology and Self-Help. In the 90s whole sections of stores like Borders and Waterstones would be devoted to MBS, but over the years those sections seem to have shrunk to a few shelves. A niche within MBS is ‘Magic & the Occult’ and in London two fabulous bookshops – Atlantis and Treadwells – manage to flourish selling these kind of books, and Watkins in Cecil Court manages to thrive with a broader range that includes MBS titles, so the situation isn’t clear-cut. But, on the whole, it seems to me, the broader category of MBS looks as if it has been on the decline for years. This was very obvious to me on a recent visit to Amsterdam. The huge building on Prins Hendrikkade that once housed Oibibio – an MBS emporium on five floors with shops, therapy rooms and a café – is now an office block with a shop selling T-shirts. And the wonderful Himalaya has become a delicatessen! You can still find it described on websites: “Himalaya, a Bookstore and Tea-house, is an ideal retreat for anyone who desires a spiritual experience. Located between the busy streets of Red Light District and the Dam, Himalaya creates an ambience described as an Oasis by its many happy customers.” Those happy customers can no longer even visit its other shop in Rotterdam, which is apparently closing down. What do you think happened? Have we all grown up? Or been dumbed down? Did publishers and authors flood the market? I’d love to hear what you think about why this has happened.