Course books can be found in Dinkytown

Derrick Biney

ACorrection: The Daily incorrectly spelled the name of University Bookstores Director Bob Crabb.

As the school year starts, students rush to the bookstores, hoping to find affordable books.

The independently operated and owned Student Book Store, in Dinkytown, attracts thousands of students to its location on 15th Street and University Avenue.

Last April, Charlie Ward bought the bookstore from former owner Mark Helper, who ran the business for nearly 20 years.

Student Book Store manager Becky Henning, who has worked at the store since the ownership change, said the store had all summer to make transitions and now employees are ready for the rush.

“We are going to keep the philosophy of trying to keep books low for students,” Henning said.

She said students are also able to pick up the Daily Card, which gives students discounts at area businesses, at the store.

Alyssa Sommers, Student Book Store office manager, said the store focuses on getting used textbooks, because that’s what students typically like.

Economics sophomore Brody Grandas said he shops at the bookstore because it’s a block from his apartment. He said he goes to the Coffman Union bookstore only when he doesn’t find what he’s looking for at Student Book Store.

Accounting sophomore Kia Xiong said she bought her books last year from Student Book Store, and she said she returned this year with her friend because of the cheaper prices.

Sommers said the store does not guarantee lower prices than the Coffman Union bookstore, but that generally they sell books for less.

Xiong and Yang both said Student Book Store is a long walk from Comstock Hall, but the deals they get on the books make the journey worth it.

Even though sophomore Janet Ashong lives a block from the McDonald’s in Dinkytown, she said she buys her books from the Coffman Union bookstore because she can do everything she needs to do in one building and go home afterward.

“I can get something to eat or use the computer lab all in one place,” she said.

Ashong said she usually pays for her books through financial aid. Being able to charge her books to her student account at the Coffman Union bookstore is a convenience for her, along with being able to print her book list, she said.

Even with those services, Ashong said, Coffman Union bookstore’s prices are a little too expensive.

Bob Crab, director of University Bookstores, said the store got as many used books as it could from wholesale stores and from students.

“We are working equally as hard (as Student Book Store) to get used books,” Crab said.

He said he hired extra workers to be cashiers in order to help with the rush, and assist with the stocking and placement of books.

He said the store being open over the weekend helped students who lived in residence halls get their books while they also adjusted to college life.

Carlson School of Management first-year students Kevin Irving, Lee Feltman and Scott LaRoque bought most of their books from the Coffman Union bookstore, but they said they went to Student Book Store just to see what it had to offer.