Bookless in April

I can already hear my heart breaking.

I can already hear my heart breaking.

I’m gonna miss them cheap books

Article: Robyn Tocker – A&C Editor

[dropcaps round=”no”]W[/dropcaps]hen a student walks into the book store, it’s usually only for two things: ridiculously expensive textbooks and Cougar sportswear. But, for a few blissful weeks, the University of Regina bookstore has three huge tables full of books for bargain-bin prices. It’s the start of my favourite time of the semester. What other time of the year can I get eight books for $15?

I have gone for the past two years, and while there I always find a great selection of books, anything from fantasy to young adult and even some children’s books, it’s always a surprise. Yet, even when the store isn’t having their sale, they always keep a nice selection of non-textbook reading material. Ashley Stephens, a student on campus, says she’s always happy with what she finds.

“They do a good job of keeping a decent selection of books that they have for a certain percentage off usually. [It’s] always a treat going in and finding things I wouldn’t expect.”

Marnie Strickland, another campus student, says it’s nice to see items that aren’t textbook-related lingering in the bookstore.

“It’s shocking the amount of stuff that isn’t a textbook.”

However, to my dismay, I found out in April there won’t be another book sale. Jamie Mason, a student, is just as dismayed as I am.

“I hadn’t heard that there won’t be one next year and that really upsets me. I look forward to those book sales each year. I love them.”

Rayola Anderson, the manager of the U of R Bookstore, says that they are not having a sale in April because of a decline in sales. The book sale usually only goes for three weeks, but this October they held it for five, and even now there are still books out there leftover from the sale. She and her staff may only decide to have one book sale a year instead of two.

She says she is unsure why this sale was one of the worst, but she suspects it has to do with the ability to download books digitally.

“It’s unfortunate . . . the sale started because of the digital age but, has [the sale] slowed down because of digital books?”

That is a question that can likely be answered with a yes, but we’ll just have to see what happens. Anderson says it is a challenge, because they don’t have the platform to have digital delivery for books that aren’t textbooks.

Andrew Jackson, a student on campus, says, “We need to keep promoting real, material books. Electronic versions almost give reading a different, less authentic slant.”

Truer words were never spoken.

I can already hear my heart breaking.

I can already hear my heart breaking.

The book sale isn’t just a way to get rid of last season’s shelf-clinging paperbacks. By keeping books that don’t remind us of school, the bookstore gives students a chance to forget we have piles of homework waiting for us. Reading provides an outlet.

“[Reading] helps with my writing,” says Strickland. “It gives me something to think about.”

“Not only does it help comprehension and vocabulary, it builds character in yourself and prepares you, at least on a small scale, for situations that you wouldn’t normally just stumble upon,” says Stephens.

Mason says, “Reading adds perspective and understanding. I find that reading gives me a chance not only to reflect on my life and the lives around, but also to understand the world as a larger whole.”

“I actually write quite a lot in the spare time that I do have, and I believe the best way to keep writing well is to keep reading as much as I can,” says Jackson.

Anderson says the bookstore will continue to sell general books, even though other stores have had to eliminate it. She says they will promote their books as they always have, like with the 20 per cent off all hardcover books. There is a possibility that next spring they will have an academic promotion of some kind, but the details have not been finalized yet.

[button style=”e.g. solid, border” size=”e.g. small, medium, big” link=”” target=””]Image: Haley Klassen[/button]

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