With school tuition and textbook prices continuing to increase every semester CSUN students are looking for new and better ways to save their money.
Some local stores are trying to provide students with alternatives. Although not directly associated with CSUN, off-campus bookstores such as A+Textbook have been advertising cheaper books for students.
‘I think it’s important for the school not to have a monopoly on it and competition is always good for the students at least,’ Connie Sue, manager of A+textbook located across the street from CSUN on Reseda Blvd, which opened its doors in December.
‘If the Matador Bookstore was the only place to get the books it would be unfair.’ Sue added that her store price matches all new and used books to make sure they’re cheaper.’
CSUN is home to the Matador Bookstore that, unlike its competitors, is heavily staffed and contains a wide variety of all textbooks to meet the needs of students.
‘We stock all required and recommended books in adequate quantities on a timely basis to meet student needs,’ said Amy Berger, manager of the Matador Bookstore.’ ‘Other bookstores have no relationship with this campus, much less faculty and may find it almost impossible to collect and verify adoption information, a job that has become more complicated as course materials options have increased.’
Some CSUN students like Michael Callahan, 27, philosophy, haven’t found the A+Textbook discount store very helpful in finding books.
‘They didn’t seem to have any of the textbooks I need and also didn’t know when they would be restocked,’ said Callahan.’ ‘So I ended up paying a boat load for my books at the campus bookstore anyway,’ he added.
Berger did admit she does expect to see the price increase to continue after considering that the textbook inflation rate has been about 6 percent over the past six years.
However, she did mention that the bookstore will have other alternatives for textbooks available in the near future.
‘The Matador Bookstore will have more eBook titles available for students, which are priced about 40 percent lower than a hard bound book,’ said Berger.
Some CSUN students like Jovana Smolovie, 18, sociology major, would love to save a little extra cash and buy alternative textbooks.
‘I think it’s a great idea.’ It would give me money to spend in other places,’ said Smolove.
Other students go online to buy their textbooks but wouldn’t mind going a cheaper and more convenient route such as eBooks.
‘I haven’t used the bookstore in years,’ said Andrew Sandstoe, 23, urban planning major. ‘I use half.com and eBay, but I would definitely try out an eBook if it saves me money.’
A+Textbook does not offer any alternative textbooks such as eBooks, but do guarantee that you will buy for less and sell for more than you would at the Matador Bookstore.
‘In the future we will have more sales and promotions for cheaper books,’ said Sue. ‘Right now we have a 5 percent off special on the total purchase which students can take advantage of.’
The reason why the prices keep increasing is because CSUN orders custom textbooks, Sue said, which are books edited specifically for the class.
‘However it could have its benefits because they are specifically tailored to the class,’ said Sue.
Berger said the Matador bookstore is doing their best to help the university and the surrounding Northridge community with their ‘higher prices,’ something off-campus bookstores cannot offer.
‘We provide a financial return to the university and contribute to the economy by hiring people from the community along with students from the university,’ she added.