June 12, 2006 — Attention bibliophiles and bargain hunters: The University of Utah Bookstore now offers used and discounted books, making it easier for readers to purchase volumes for less.
The Bookstore’s 25 shelves of used books include mass market, trade paperback and hardbound editions, ranging from classics like Catcher in the Rye, The Moonstone and Shakespearean plays to modern fiction by John Grisham, Barbara Kingsolver and Tony Hillerman. The used book section carries books in many genres, including Agatha Christie and Brad Meltzer mysteries, the more recent and controversial A Million Little Pieces and juvenile and LDS tomes, including The Richard L. Evans Quote Book and Mormon Doctrine. Also featured are used children”s books. (Think Curious George, Where the Wild Things Are, Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events.)
Nearly 600 used volumes have been purchased since the Bookstore began selling them in mid-March. Employing the same model as other used book sellers, the U prices those editions in fairly good condition at about half of today’s retail price. Most used, pocket-size books at the Bookstore average around $3. Hardbacks average $10, with the most expensive not exceeding $12.
University of Utah general books sales manager Drew Goodman credits the quick turnover in the used section to the “excellent and diverse selection. But the price point helps as well,” he says.
A reader, author and book collector who has worked in the industry for more than a decade, Goodman buys volumes weekly from a variety of sources-thrift stores, garage and estate sales. “I travel up and down the Wasatch Front buying books,” he says. On especially good buying outings Goodman will return to the store with 200 books, which are reviewed, priced and out on the shelves within a few days.
While most used bookstores charge more for autographed copies, the U’s Bookstore does not price first editions and signed copies any higher. “Our mission is to provide good used books at good prices for students, faculty, staff and the general public,” Goodman says.
The U Bookstore also continues to offer patrons new, lower-cost “remainders,” volumes which have, according to Goodman, “hit their life cycle,” are less well-known or are left over from publishing houses. “Buying remainders, spending $3.88 or $5.88, is a great way to introduce yourself to new authors or different kinds of books you may not have read before. Some remainders, on the other hand, are well-known, but overproduced books, which can be purchased at really good prices.” For example, last month, the U Bookstore sold David McCullough’s 1776 as a remainder for $14.88, or half the original price.
During the Bookstore’s upcoming sidewalk sale, which will be held June 19 through 23, 10 a.m., until 3 p.m., remainders will be sold on a buy-two, get-one (of equal of lesser value)-free basis. The Bookstore sidewalk sale will also feature the KUED-produced DVD Utah: A Portrait, for $14.96. The main retail outlet for KUED, the Bookstore features KUED products and merchandise year-round.
Select Ute fan merchandise, including T-shirts, jackets and sweatshirts, will also be discounted during the Bookstore sidewalk sale.
To further enhance its offering, the Bookstore has posted a list of recommended summer books, or “beach” reading,” as Goodman calls it. The 25 titles are all fiction, but range in subject from horror to romance to mysteries. Paperback editions of these titles will be 20 percent off the regular price during June and July and will qualify as Bookstore frequent buyer card books. (After purchasing six books that cost $5 or more, the buyer receives $10 off the next purchase. If the seventh book is less than $10, the book is free.) To review the U Bookstore’s recommended summer reading list, visit: http://www.bookstore.utah.edu/UTAH/SiteText.aspx?id=563.