Friday, September 01, 2006

Bardiac's Big Bookstore Adventure

I couldn't find my copy of one of the books I'm teaching this semester. I'm guessing it's buried in a pile of books somewhere in the BardiacShack (tm), but I couldn't find it. So I braved the bookstore today to get another copy. Heck, it never hurts to have a second copy of a book I'm teaching.

I must have been a truly evil child, because if my parents had tried to go to my college bookstore with me, I would have flipped out.

Not true of many students here, it seems. Either that or we suddenly have a massive influx of non-traditional students, which should make first year classes really interesting!

Seriously, at least half of the youngish looking customers in the store were accompanied by someone who looked to be from my generation. As often as not, two folks like me were following around one youngish looking person, each of the older folks carrying an armload of books while the younger person worried a bookstore printout. (The bookstore makes a printout for any student so that s/he gets a list of class texts. Neat, eh?)

What's more, these people seemed to be talking to each other in voices NOT dripping in sarcasm or impatience. Some of them appeared to be smiling at each other. They weren't screaming at each other.

Even more surprising, they weren't fainting or screaming about the book prices.

I found the book I needed, and raided another profs book selection for a book that looked really fun. (Yes, I still raid the bookstore looking for really interesting books.)

And then I checked to make sure that the shelves for my other classes were in order and such. Alas, no such luck. Two books are missing from my first year class shelf area. OOPS. I talked to the bookstore manager, and it appears that the order never went in, and given the general competence and efficiency of the English department office staff here, I'm probably the root cause of the problem. I apologized to the bookstore manage and she smilingly said she'd order up the books and let me know when they got in. I apologized again, and thanked her, all the while swearing at my own idiocy for not checking the order info more carefully after I put it in.

One of my former advisees is working in the bookstore, so we chatted about her plans while I got into line. Shockingly, the line moved FAST. Almost walking speed fast. (How are our students going to learn proper line standing patience?) That didn't stop me from overhearing one student, arms full of books, tell another that there's no way she's going to buy all the required books since they'll only be reading a page or two out of them. Happily, her arms weren't full of books for MY courses!

And that was my bookstore adventure.

To sum up: holy cow, parents are taking their kids shopping for college text books! My mind boggles.

I screwed up. I'm not really surprised.

And I found a neat new book, with lots of cool pictures!


  1. I just found out that the bookstore at my new institution "packages" books for students.

    As in, the student sends his or her schedule over, and the bookstore collects all the books, packages them, and DELIVERS THEM to the student's dorm/apartment/parents' house.

    Completely brilliant, but it still blew my mind. I remember waiting on line for 45 minutes at a go to buy my books.

  2. But how could you look at all the cool books for other classes and find extra reading for fun?

  3. I remember making plans to get to the bookstore as soon as they opened for the semester so I could have the best chance at getting used books.

  4. I had to brave two bookstores this year to find all my books, both on campus and off campus (for some reason my Myth books were near impossible to track down). Normally I pick up my text books dirt cheap off of amazon (you can't beat five books on a book thats normally 40 dollars used at the bookstore, but three of the people I bought from fell through.

    There were a ton more parents at the on campus bookstore than the off campus one and much more than I remember in 98' when I was a freshman. My mother has gone with my several times to buy books but that was normally because she was buying my books for me. She normally just follow behind me as I hunted my books or waited by the resigter to stake out a good place in line. Once I found that I could find my books at amazon and was able to pay for my own books, the bookstore trips stop.

    I do come across the coolest text books at the Halfprice books near me since its rather close to another U (not the one I go to which is in a differnt city from where I live).

    I'll stop ramlbing in your comments now. :)

  5. Oh, thank God. I thought I was the only degenerate "stealing" books from classes I am neither enrolled in nor part of the teaching crew for at the bookstore.

  6. Wow, I can't imagine going to the college bookstore with my parents and being happy about it. Is nothing sacred???