Clothing items, like this USC Trojans sweatshirt, are popular at college bookstores. (Photo by Hvnly)

When you think of a college bookstore, you probably focus on the neatly organized shelves holding thousands of textbooks. What you may not always think about, though, is the inventory of other items for sale at these stores.

College bookstores sell all kinds of items besides the traditional hardback textbooks that they are known for. One of the most popular lines of merchandise is gear and apparel for a school’s athletic teams. You will find hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jerseys, flip-flops, and tons of other unique souvenir items sporting the logo and colors of your college’s team. You can wear these items to all of the athletic events at your school or out in the community to show your support for the school. Aside from outerwear, you can also purchase accessories for your room or car like flags, banners, and posters.

Another part of these bookstores’ inventory that has dramatically increased in recent times is the technology section. Most college bookstores offer students discounts on items like desktop computers, laptops, software packages, and peripherals like MP3 players. Even if you don’t shop at your on-campus bookstore for textbooks, checking out the technology section could be a huge money-saver for you, especially if you are thinking about getting a new computer. In many cases, you can save hundreds of dollars on computers because of the educational discounts available to you.

School supplies are sold at most bookstores, too. Students need plenty of things to succeed in their classes other than their actual books. These may include backpacks, pens, pencils, folders, binders, as well as items for their dorms, apartments, or houses. Additionally, most bookstores offer graduation supplies like caps, gowns, and diploma frames when it comes time to take that long-awaited walk across the stage after all the blood, sweat, and tears that go into earning a college degree.

General books, novels, bestsellers, magazines, and newspapers are also available at campus bookstores. Although college students tend to have hectic schedules, it’s always nice to have a non-academic book at your bedside or in your backpack to pick up and read. On-campus stores that are owned and operated by Barnes & Noble often have large selections of these “regular” books.

Finally, food and drink items are always hot items at bookstores. B&N has gained a reputation for selling coffee and other food items. Many students enjoy a nice coffee or other caffeine-rich items to keep them awake, especially for those early-morning 8 a.m. classes. (Can you blame them?) Lots of bookstores offer a variety of snacks and hot food as well, so you can pick up a bite to eat along with your textbooks in one place. Some stores even offer places to sit and eat, relax, or study while sipping on a cool beverage and chowing down on something tasty.