Bookstore lines out the doors


As a new semester begins, the Oakland University campus comes alive with the scene of busy students scurrying from one building to the next. There is not a part of campus untouched by back-to-school excitement, and this certainly includes the Barnes & Noble bookstore on campus.

Bookstore employee Victoria Alcorn recalled the chaos that was the Barnes & Noble the first few days of class.

“Lines were out the door,” Alcorn said.

Publishers of many popular textbooks recently outsourced their printing, according to Alcorn. Printing overseas caused delays in shipping to the United States and, including the bookstore on campus she said. A chain reaction in which according to Alcorn the blame is cast on the bookstore.

With hundreds of students coming in and out of the bookstore the first few days of class, it’s difficult to meet the needs of every student and customer, according to Alcorn.

“We only have so much manpower,” Alcorn said.

There are three-to-six employees working seven cash registers at a time, three-to-four working the reserved online window and four working in the aisles of the store, according to Alcorn. 

Due to the large number of students coming in, the bookstore hired temporary employees from Wayne State University and Walsh College of Troy.

“Everyone comes the first day and wants their stuff ready for them,” Alcorn said. 

That includes students who just ordered their books the first day of class, she said.

Sophomore Tori Tomaszewski believes things could be done to cut down on the back-to-school backups. 

“Add more checkout registers, at least temporary ones for the first couple weeks just so it isn’t as hectic,” Tomaszweski said.

Third-year accounting student Samantha Siljanovski offered some key advice for making textbook purchases easier.

“You’ve got to think ahead,” Siljanovski said.

In the past, Siljanovski has bought books from the bookstore on campus and had little trouble. It is the prices that make her and many other students wary of buying their books at the bookstore.

“I made a mistake and bought all of them there freshman year,” Siljanovski said.

Many students become frustrated when there is an edition change in a well-known textbook. This means students will have to pay full price for a new book and are unable to buy a used book at a lower price. As an accounting major, Siljanovski can understand why edition changes may be important.

“Edition changes are only sometimes necessary. In business, laws and regulations change so the textbooks need to be updated,” she said.

Siljanovski said she’d be willing to buy books at the campus Barnes and Noble if they offered deals to students. 

The bookstore is open Tuesday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

You can also contact them at their website at