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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