College Bookstores Soon to be Enter the History Books?

Purdue, UMass Amherst and Stony Brook no longer sell textbooks in the “bookstores”. The bookstores pretty much now only sell supplies and insignia items.

McGill University is also phasing out its textbook sales and Boston university recently sold the building in which its bookstore is located and the fate of the textbook operation is uncertain.

Barnes and Noble is testing a program where the school bookstore (run by B&N) matches prices from amazon/chegg etc. That would be a step forward in getting more kids to use the bookstores.

I don’t think Univ of Michigan has an actual bookstore. If they do, I’ve never used it or ordered books for my students there.

It isn’t just college bookstores that are fading away. Bookstores in general have been fading for the last 15 or so years.

One chain which was once a major chain and rivaled Barnes & Nobles is no more and Barnes and Nobles has closed down many branches including one in my neighborhood and a once popular location near Union Square focused on academic/college textbooks.

Pretty sad in once sense as they were popular hangouts for readers and did a brisk business in books. Unfortunately for the bookstores, the wider spread of internet book merchants and online/electronic books meant business faded in the last decade and half.

And that’s underscored by the fact my co-op neighbors frequently have boxes of books waiting for them in front of their apartments from amazon books.

Incidentally, the Barnes and Nobles in my neighborhood has been replaced by a boutique supermarket and an upscale gastropub.

I haven’t read the whole thread so pardon me if the obvious has already been stated. It’s not just bookstores that are fading…so are books. Many people use digital books now. College students can use digital books and oftentimes for a fraction of the cost of print texts. My DH used to buy 2-4 paper back books a week. Now he uses his Nook.

Folks don’t use cookbooks a lot either…or reference books. A quick Google search turns up info about just about anything.

I still buy children’s books. And we have a collection of classical literature.

But I haven’t stepped into a Barnes and Noble since 2010 when they refused to take back an unused book that I bought because I exceeded their 30 day return policy. Nevermind that this particular book was purchased for a Peace Corps volunteer…and she took it with her. When she got there, it was apparent this book was not going to be needed. It took 30’days for the book to travel with her…and then return here via mail. I swore I would never go back…and I haven’t.

Bookstores need to have decent customer service…and B and N does not (I have other issues with them…but the 2010 book was the straw that broke the camels back).

I will say, I do miss our local small bookstore. But I love the used bookstore near where I live.

I still like reading real paper books. My eyes get tired of computer/cell phone screens all day long.

The price of ebooks has gone up quite a bit and they are not much cheaper/or the same price as paper. I still prefer eBook for space reasons, not economics. I just noticed this with my kids textbooks too. Ebooks VERY close in price to paper, which is ridiculous.

I like both and from observing my neighbors’ continuous deliveries of books from amazon books and other online book merchants…regular books aren’t fading in popularity nearly as much as we’d think. And the demographics of the neighbors spans generations from older millennials to seniors.

It’s just they’re much more likely to be purchased online rather than from a local/regional bookstore.

I only assign books (and anything else) which are available both print and digital (or just digital because then you can print if you need to). I also try very, very hard to only assign open-source material.

My goal is to make my courses as accessible as possible- which means ensuring that materials are accessible to those who can’t easily afford books and/or who may rely on things like screen reading devices. As I work in the humanities, this is a privilege that I know is not readily available in some other disciplines.

UM has a full bookstore in the Mich Union operated by B&N.

@barrons lots of college bookstores are run by Barnes and Noble.

See Post #2
“I don’t think Univ of Michigan has an actual bookstore. If they do, I’ve never used it or ordered books for my students there.”

As Ann Arbor was the home of the now defunct Borders, this is the saddest statement I’ve read on CC in a long time. U-M had Borders, Follett’s, Ulrich’s, and the Michigan Union bookstore, among others, as places where you went to literally pick up your education. I still have all that knowledge (along with every paper, project, and blue book) in my home library and though I tend toward digital these days for pleasure reading, I can’t bear to think that the hours I spent tucked away in those magical, fabulous-smelling places is lost to time. Ouch.

There are still bookstores in Ann Arbor-Nicola’s and there is a B&N at at least, and one of the other posters here has confirmed that U Mich Ann Arbor does indeed have a campus bookstore. The reports of bookstore death and dying is greatly exaggerated. A lot of textbook publishing has gone digital, which makes sense since textbooks tend to update annually. Despite Borders going out of business, there are some really positive things happening in bookselling. Indie store openings have been increasing over the past few years as they step back into the void left in communities by Borders closing. Barnes & Noble is actually the big worry now, they don’t seem to be able to hold on to their sales vs Amazon. They are now looking at launching some smaller model stores-the big box concept seems be out of favor. And, physical book sales (as opposed to e-book) were also up at the end of 2015. Books and booksellers will be around for awhile…

My students every year tell me that when they sit down to read a book, they prefer paper to digital. A majority in every class I’ve ever asked.

The death of the physical book is greatly exaggerated.

There may still be a campus Bookstore but do they still sell textbook?

Our campus bookstore sells textbooks.

Unless the program has expanded, they only price-match books sold directly through Amazon, not the Marketplace. Having started purchasing textbooks when the kids were in high school, I’ve found Amazon Marketplace consistently gets me lower prices than the best deals through B&N. Even factoring in shipping costs for those merchants not fulfilled by Amazon.

My kid’s colleges sell textbooks, but they don’t stock many, since those students who do buy through the bookstore usually purchase online ahead of time and pick up when they get on campus. I don’t recall ever seeing anyone actually purchasing textbooks off the shelf in the bookstores.

My kid at Wisconsin doesn’t often buy his books at the campus bookstore, but I still love to roam the basement aisles of the UW bookstore, filled with textbooks, organized by department, to see all the classes and what they are reading. Of course, I loved the smell of library card when I was a kid . . . …

As much as I love bookstores, and find this headline provocative… my memory is that the college bookstore(s) on my campus ALWAYS under-ordered, and you frequently got shut out for weeks. Some profs sent their registrations to the campus bookstore and others went with the private one, and some “split”…

…so as for textbooks, the Amazon model, with digital options, is far superior, IMHO.