Bookstore Takes the Cake & Your Money

Written by Hannah Yterdal
Megaphone Staff Writer

I stared at the little plaque-thing stuck under the stack of books. I’d sort of lost the feeling in my face, but I was pretty sure I looked ill. I felt in my back pocket for my wallet, opened it, and stared sadly at my debit card. I glanced back at the price.

35 dollars? For that little book? Were they kidding?

Unfortunately, as we Southwestern students know all too well, they weren’t kidding. Our trusty SU Bookstore had, as usual, marked up the price of our textbooks by several dollars. Why on earth do they do that? Don’t they know we are starving college students?

Of course, this is nothing you haven’t thought or said before. The bookstore will unfailingly charge an outrageous amount for already outrageously expensive books. Some, if not most of us, have become practically indifferent to this fact – I mean, what’s forty more dollars out of my pocket and into SU’s? Others of us have simply grown accustomed to the nauseated feeling we get every time we step foot in the bookstore. And then there’s those of us who order our books online for much cheaper, even with shipping.

However, the bookstore seems to have started enforcing counter-measures against online book orders. We would usually go into the bookstore with paper and pen, find the books for our classes, write down the ISBN numbers, and then visit textbooks.com or Amazon. This semester, that has suddenly become much harder to do. In fact, the editor of the Opinions and Editorials section said that when she went into the bookstore to write down the ISBN numbers she needed, they stopped her from doing so. I managed to get away with it. I stealthily borrowed a pen from my friend (who, incidentally, wound up spending over 100 dollars on eight tiny little paperback books) and wrote down the information on my books on my hand and arm. How I managed to get away with this, I’m not entirely sure, seeing as how I had the evidence written all over my right arm, and it stayed there for a couple days.

But the point is, isn’t that a little extreme? I understand that the bookstore might prefer us to buy from them rather than someone else, but it is completely immoral and evil for them to expect all of us to be able to afford shiny, new, overpriced books every semester – and then force us to buy from them!

The other thing that is so maddening about the bookstore is that they have exclusive rights to the SU logo and merchandise. So if you’re ever in H.E.B. or Target and see all of the UT t-shirts and doggie jackets and wonder, “Don’t they know there’s another college right down the road?” – that’s why. They actually can’t sell Southwestern stuff. So if any Georgetown residents want to show pride in their little liberal arts college, they have to haul themselves all the way to the third floor of the McCombs center to purchase and overpriced and not very original sweatshirt.

By the way, have you ever looked at all the clothing in there? We’re the Pirates, for goodness sake! Have some fun with the design, if you’re going to make us pay as much for an SU t-shirt as an American Eagle one.

And in any case, couldn’t they use all that money they’re getting from us to buy some better food for the Commons? Don’t even get me started on that. It’s so not worth eight bucks…

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4 Responses to Bookstore Takes the Cake & Your Money

  1. Lane Hill says:

    First of all, the bookstore is a private business that uses space rented in McCombs.

    This means that the only money SU gets from the bookstore is rent.

    Second of all, you don’t have to buy your books. It’s a really good idea, of course, but sometimes, you can get by on teacher’s notes. Plus, there’s always Amazon, half.com, etc. You don’t need the ISBN number. Just search by the author, and tah dah! No intervention, no need walking up any stairs.

  2. Jessica says:

    Have u try the online bookstore Cocomartini
    http://www.cocomartini.com/

    [URL="http://www.cocomartini.com/"][B][COLOR="Blue"][SIZE="3"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Cocomartini[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/URL]

    I get all my textbooks for this semester from this bookstore. All are brand new and 60%off discount from normal price. See if any help.

    hehe ^_^

  3. Samantha says:

    I’ve actually heard that even though the bookstore marks up prices so much, they’ve been LOSING money. I’m not sure how that works, really, but supposedly it’s happening. Does that mean I’m going to feel sorry for them and go buy my books there from now on? Heck no.

    The best thing to do if you want the ISBN is to email your professors during the break. Most of them know which books they’ll be using, and after a certain point they have to, because the bookstore has to order them. I’ve done this ever since my second semester here and it’s never been a problem to get the author, title, edition, and usually ISBN weeks before school starts. Another option is to send out a campus-wide email saying that you’re looking for the book[s] for so-and-so class; does anyone have it/them? However, I highly recommend emailing your professors directly. They’re usually impressed by your ingenuity, anyway.

    By the way, if the SU Bookstore employees EVER try to keep me from going in and writing down the ISBNs of my books, I am going to calmly but firmly point out that there is no rule against writing down information about the books and that frankly, as long as I’m not damaging or stealing their merchandise, I’m not doing anything wrong. Then I’m going to write a scathing article for the Megaphone about how the bookstore is infringing upon our rights. I’m not sure which ones, but they’re definitely infringing upon something ;-)

    Good book sites: alibris.com, bookbyte.com, campusbooks.com, half.com

  4. Mark says:

    Try ichapters.com.

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