Printing Press is the English Department Newsletter. Its purpose is to
inform majors and minors about programs and activities within the
department. The Press will inform readers of activities and opportunities
outside of Monmouth College. For any questions or submissions, contact
Investigating the Bookstore "Problem"
By Jessica Heinen
It would be an ideal world to hope that, because colleges are in existence to encourage higher learning and bookstores sell textbooks to encourage students to actually participate in what they learn, books should be sold at a price that students can afford. But, that is an ideal world.
Instead, Monmouth College, and many other colleges and universities, are caught in a cycle of encouraging higher learning. Yet the books being sold, often necessary to understanding the material being taught, are just beyond most college students' budgets.
“When we get the orders from the professors, sometimes they are late and sometimes they are not,” said Monmouth Bookstore Manager, Peggy McNitt. “We try to get books from the wholesalers first so we can get used books. That way the students don’t have to pay quite as much. We want them (the wholesalers) to give us all the used books they can and we wait until the last minute to go to the publishers."
Resorting to other means, some students have found that their class books are on reserve at the library, which is helpful in a bind. Others have checked out the books from the library or have even used the Interlibrary Loan process to get books. The most common way students get a great deal, however, is by going online to either half.com or any online bookstore that sells used textbooks.
MC junior Emily Mitsdarffer bought eight of her fifteen books at the campus bookstore. She estimated that she spent $250.00 total on all her books as opposed to $500.00 had she bought all of them at the bookstore. “I buy online because they’re cheaper and I don’t have a lot of money to begin with,” Mitsdarffer said.
Though the campus bookstore goes to five wholesalers and nearly twenty publishers to get books, this does not account for the shortage that students often experience when they go to purchase what they need. McNitt says this is due to the decrease in students buying books, which means the bookstore orders less books to account for those students who will probably buy online.
As with everything, there are some downfalls associated with buying online just as there are with the high prices that come from purchasing books at the bookstore.
“I bought a book four or five weeks ago and I have not received it yet,” said Mitsdarffer. “Apparently, I’m just not going to get it.”
What are your plans for Spring Break?