Some high schools have bookstores or some sort of school store, but the college bookstore is a whole different thing. And while you may not think much of it—it’s a bookstore, right?—it’s good to know that the bookstore can be a pretty central place in your campus. So what makes the bookstore so important?
Here are a few reasons that you’ll probably find yourself spending some time there.
First, and most obviously, you might be buying your textbooks there. Just about every class you take in your college career will have at least one textbook that you’re required to buy (many classes have multiple books, and some have a lot). And the bookstore is where most people will go to buy them. Buying from Craigslist, or eBay Books are also popular options, but the bookstore will always be a mainstay. They’ll always have the books that you need, and you don’t have to wait for someone to ship your book to you.
On the other hand, the bookstore can be pretty expensive. Used books are always cheaper, and most bookstores carry used books, so you’ll be able to save some cash. Used books usually go pretty fast, though, so make sure that you get down there and buy your books early!
A slightly less useful, but much more fun, use of the bookstore is for buying clothes. Bookstores (and on-campus clothing stores, if you’re at a very large college) usually carry large selections of school-branded clothing, and we highly encourage every college student to have at least a few articles of clothing with their school’s name of them. Again, it can be expensive to buy these things from the bookstore, but they’re fun, and help contribute to school spirit. Pick up at least a t-shirt or two so you can wear them around campus or to sports games.
Something that many students don’t realize is that they can get great discounts on both hardware and software from their bookstore. Many computer manufacturers, such as Dell, HP, and Apple, sell their wares at a discount through school bookstores. Your options may be slightly limited, and you might not save much, but it’s still a better deal than going through a big-box retailer or buying online. You can also buy many useful software programs, like Microsoft Office, Rosetta Stone, and some Adobe products at a discount. These programs are usually pretty expensive, so getting them cheaper is a great idea if you’re able.
Even if you don’t think you’ll be there much, you’ll probably find yourself at the bookstore quite a bit. So acquaint yourself with it as soon as you can—you’ll probably be back there soon!