Students battle long lines for books

Nicole Stempak

Local bookstores work to minimize students’ hassles

The line at the University Bookstore in the Student Center wound through half the store yesterday afternoon during the first day of classes. DANIEL OWEN | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

For freshman exploratory major Mercedes Bagley, waiting until the last minute might not be so bad – when it comes to buying books, that is.

“I wanted to know where I stood before I bought my books,” Bagley said. “It’s not like I’m behind or anything by waiting.”

Bagley is one of the many students who waited until yesterday to purchase textbooks.

At the University Bookstore, approximately 5 percent of last year’s total sales came from the first day of classes, University Bookstore director Michael Marquardt said.

Traditionally, Monday is the busiest day every year, he said.

Junior anthropology major Anna Dowell was in for a surprise when she went to the University Bookstore.

“The line went to the back of the store,” she said. “Even so, I only waited in line for about five minutes.”

Because bookstores have come to anticipate this last minute rush, they try to keep students in mind.

“(Basically), we make sure everything is in order,” said Lisa DuBois of DuBois Bookstore, located at 332 S. Lincoln St.

Being prepared means checking with all the departments to see they have the books students need, preparing for customers and having a positive attitude, she said.

DuBois cashier Eddie Rodecki said everything at the store was running smoothly.

“Most of the guests and students have been real pleased,” he said. “(There hasn’t been) more than one person waiting in line.”

While the line at DuBois was only four people long and the line at the University Bookstore wrapped around the store, they both moved quickly.

“People panic, but the line (can be) deceiving,” Marquardt said.

Despite the prompt service, the wait can be unattractive.

“I try to avoid this place, to be honest,” architecture major Russell Gayheart said. “I learned from past experience that I don’t want to be in this place.”

While many may complain about having to purchase books, graduate music student Ming-Yen Lee welcomes the process.

“In Taiwan, we order books together with classmates, so somebody orders (them) from the bookstore,” Lee said. In America, “it’s more convenient to buy books (because) there are many more choices, either online or in-store.”

Finances aside, this week is important for bookstores for a different reason.

“This is our chance to make an impression on incoming students,” DuBois said. “Some students came here with parents or grandparents who came to Kent.”

Contact news correspondent Nicole Stempak at [email protected].