Were you expecting to have all that money you spent on textbooks go to waste? The Mines Barnes & Noble bookstore is trying to help students by buying back some of their textbooks at 50% of original retail price. Books such as Physics, Differential Equations, Fluids, and some others are guaranteed buyback, but there are also many books that the bookstore cannot buy back. If you were unfortunate enough to have to buy a custom for-Mines-only book, then you are most likely stuck with that book.
The bookstore manager, Ed Showers, commented, “You get a lot of these custom titles [from publishers] and we can’t buy those back.” Publishers like to make custom book titles for schools because they have much higher long-term profits if students can’t resell the book. Showers said, “I’d like to have a traditional textbook that I can cycle through, we make a little more money off the book and we help out students too.” Unfortunately, the trend at Mines recently has been more in the way of requiring custom books, not getting more that can be resold. Another difficulty is if your textbook came with an online access code and you broke the seal on that code and registered it online, the book is now very nearly worthless to the bookstore. With more professors moving toward online homework, more and more students find themselves paying hundreds of dollars for books with access codes and not being able to sell them back for more then maybe 15-20% of the purchase price.
There are some exciting developments in the world of textbooks, however. Showers said, “E-books are coming down the pipelines, and I expect them to be in use by 2014.” This would solve much of the textbook buyback problem that is starting to plague so many schools. Showers said that eventually he would be able to offer the physical textbook alongside an online access code for the E-book version of the textbook. The E-book versions would cost significantly less. Barnes & Noble has a great new E-book solution called NOOKstudy, which is a free program you can download to any Internet device. NOOKstudy would allow students to access all of their E-books through one convenient portal, which also combines coursework into one convenient package.
In an effort to make access to information about the bookstore, Showers has created a Facebook page to announce sales events and changes in product offerings. On the page, you can find information on special discounts and new products that may not otherwise get advertised.
For their semester-end sale, the bookstore is offering all of their hoodies at 25% off regular price. This includes the new Alta-Gracia hoodies, which have been noted for being of very high quality. Showers pointed out that they have been stocking in all of the common sizes, and have restocked ladies sizes and will be bringing in children’s wear in the near future. The sales run through December 19, but the good stuff will not last so be sure to stop on over early!