New bookstore has more space, more difficulties

Long lines, long waits and cramped space used to be norm at the bookstore, especially during the first and last weeks of the semester.

Not anymore.

Since the bookstore moved to its new location in the Harold Howard Center, there is much more space for actual shopping.

“During the rushes, they can come in here and not feel crammed,” store manager Frank Martinez said. “The wait in line seems less. People are able to shop with ease.”

Students agreed.

“I’m a people person, but I don’t need them too close,” senior Maranatha Neptune said. “I needed room, and this bookstore provided it.”

The bookstore’s new space is significantly larger than the old location. Its old space, according to Martinez, was 1,260 sq. ft. including back rooms. The new space, he said, is 1,850 sq. ft. with the back rooms.

One of the problems with the old bookstore, Martinez said, was that getting to textbooks was difficult. Because the space was so small, bookshelves were cramped and shelf signs misleading.

“Now, there’s enough space where we can put the required books where the shelf tag is,” Martinez said. “We used to put the shelf tag on and then put the books wherever they fit.”

The new space has also allowed more displays and has bright lights, which make the store a nicer place to shop, according to Martinez.

“It looks like a bookstore,” he said. “We can be more creative.”

Students agreed.

“I feel like there’s more space to shop, more things to shop for,” sophomore Luke McLaughlin said.

One potential downside to the move is the effect it has had on some classes, with several classes having difficulty with book orders this semester.

First-year Jen Timmel said the books for her art history class have not yet come in.

“It does affect a large number of classes, especially in art history, where that’s the only book we’re using,” she said. “We can’t do much without it.”

Sophomore Rob Bergen said the number of such cases is more than last semester. Last semester, only one of his classes had problems with its books, and this semester, two of his classes have had difficulty.

Martinez agreed that there has been a slight increase in such problems this semester.

“I have a little more on my plate maintaining the store, getting products in,” he said. “The best I can do is maintain focus on individual book orders.”

Martinez said that as he adjusts to his new responsibility, the store will return to normal.

“I need to hand some of the responsibility to my staff, and I’ve started to do that,” he said. “Things will be smoother.”

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