When you think of a college bookstore, you probably think it’s a store specifically designed for student shoppers who eagerly purchase their course supplies for each semester. However, what you may not realize is that college bookstores often serve as the main bookstore in certain towns.

College bookstores are extra important in rural towns. (Photo by Nick)

There are thousands of colleges and universities throughout the United States. Because of this large number, there are obviously quite a few schools located in rural regions of the country, particularly in the south and out west. With many of these schools serving as the center of their towns, the bookstores on their campuses basically serve as the primary bookstores in these towns as well. One example of this is Mississippi Valley State University. MVSU is located in Itta Bena, Mississippi, a town you’ve likely never heard of, even if you’re from Mississippi. The school’s bookstore – the Mississippi Valley State University Bookstore – is essentially the only bookstore in this town. What makes it unique is that it serves readers of all ages, not just college students. In bookstores like this one, you will find plenty of other non-college-related books and merchandise since the store serves as a main hub for both books and other items. This selection also includes technology items like laptops and peripherals that can be purchased by either students at a discounted price or by non-students at the regular price.

In addition, these types of schools and bookstores tend to get a larger amount of customers, primarily because they are the only stores in town. You’d have to drive several miles away to find a similar outlet, and oftentimes, there aren’t any other textbook outlets for students within a reasonable driving distance. Although this poses a challenge for students themselves, it’s good news for the bookstores. In fact, other than shopping for books online, they may represent the only places students can find their course materials in an actual store. This is why it’s sometimes wise to shop at the campus bookstore instead of looking elsewhere. Even if the prices are a bit higher than you’d find at an independent textbook outlet, it is still worth it to shop there since you would be spending more money on gas trying to shop elsewhere.

The bookstore industry has experienced tremendous change in recent years with lots of stores having to close their doors because of corporate monopolies and the availability of books online. But if you are a college student and need a second option for buying your textbooks since there is only one outlet in your area, be sure to use the price comparison tool on Textbooks.org to compare prices on each book on your list in order to find the cheapest options that fit your needs.