The Problem With the College Bookstore

To my college course in miracles bookstore credit, there are a lot of things it does really well. For starters, it smells fantastic. I have no idea what types of mystical perfumes are being used on their shelves, but if all books smelled this good I might have actually finished Pride and Prejudice. They’ve also outdone themselves with their service, employing perhaps the friendliest people on the planet (not counting Santa, of course.) With these two crucial checkmarks on their list, my school bookstore should be well on its way to student-customer satisfaction and a long legacy as a reputable establishment. The one thing holding it back, however, is the one thing the bookstore fails to do well, which, unfortunately, happens to be selling books.

Don’t get me wrong here – my course in miracles bookstore will sell you your college books, hassle-free. They’ll even wrap them up nicely, and perhaps, if you’re lucky, put a small bow of your choice on a few of them. Disaster hits, however, when you go to pay for your required textbooks, and the pleasant-looking lady behind the counter asks you for $1200.

“Surely you must be mistaken,” you nervously chuckle. “I’m only buying books for one semester. Are you sure that’s not $1200 in dog money?”

The now slightly less pleasant-looking lady behind the counter informs you that, to her deep regret, she did mean $1200 in human money and that no, you may not pay in bling. Let’s backtrack for a second here, back to when you had enough money to buy a cheap car or 4,800 gumballs. The money you just spent on your college textbooks is going towards books that not only have a very small likelihood of you reading cover to cover but also, in the best case scenario, will only be of service to you for a single semester. Snap back to the present.

“Cheer up,” the evil-looking lady behind the counter says (how had she ever looked remotely pleasant? Must have been the incredible new-book smell going to your head.) “You can sell them back to the bookstore at the end of the semester.”

Phew! For a second there you thought you were going to have to put a delay on breaking the world record for the largest gumball collection. I hate to break it to you, but your gumball-laden dreams may still have to be put on hold – the bookstore buyback program isn’t all it’s chalked up to be. Most college bookstores will buy back your books and textbooks at a mere fraction of the cost you bought them at, often offering less than a dollar for smaller books. And then, in a manner much like that girl who you dated for three weeks in middle school but then she dumped you because she said she wasn’t ready for a relationship and then she started dating Bobby Jacobson the next day, the bookstore will resell those books as “Used Books” to next semesters student’s at 80% of the original price.

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