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C.W. Post’s Bookstore Woes

Kathleen Joyce

The worst time of the year is that moment during the first week of classes when your professor hands you the syllabus with the required reading. You already knew that you would be dishing out $100 for that class; now, it’s in writing in front of you.  And, that’s just for one book. Imagine taking six classes with a $100 fee on each textbook. It’s not the C.W. Post Bookstore’s fault that textbooks are so expensive.  It is their fault, however, that it is not bringing in enough business.  So, how is business these days in the bookstore with other options of textbook buying?

This semester, the bookstore offered a new opportunity to rent textbooks,which is similar to taking out a library book. You have the option of how many days you need for the textbook, and you pay a fee. The fees can cost up to $60, which is like buying a textbook anyway.

The bookstore also offers used textbooks, but most of those books are discounted by only 10%.  Ray McGale, the regional manager of Barnes &Noble Booksellers, which owns the C.W. Post Bookstore, said the following about the sales: “ Like all college bookstores across the United States, the C.W. Post Campus Bookstore has been dealing with the reality of selling less units of textbooks every year. Our ability at the C.W. Post Campus and other college campuses that we serve is to offer students more choices of textbook options. Offering new, used, digital, and rental textbooks at cost savings in our store and through our website has been very good for our business.”

McGale makes a point; many students have inquired about renting textbooks, but is this going to work in the future? McGale says, “Our future in college retailing is about bringing our customers what’s next.” As for Barnes & Noble, its overall business is soaring, according to McGale. “With the introduction of the NOOK products, our company’s sales of digital books has soared.”

So, what are Post students buying? Senior art education major Kathleen Catterson says, “I don’t even bother going to the bookstore. I get all of my books on Amazon, which is so much cheaper. Amazon has a large selection of used books to buy.”

“I do buy my textbooks at the bookstore because my Professors assure the students that the books are there; it’s pretty convenient as well,” says Junior Carly Stratos.

Whether you’re a book store student or an Amazon student , the books are always going to be expensive.  The campus bookstore has a few advantages over Amazon; it’s nearby, and you don’t have to pay for shipping fees. The bookstore almost always will have the book you’re looking for because your professors have already sent orders for the books they want the students to read. The cheapest way would be to not buy a textbook at all, but is it worth failing the class over? Choose wisely because you could always re-sell your textbooks at the end of the year or give them to a needy friend who will be taking the class after you.

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