Texas Aggieland Bookstore no longer selling books

Published: Jan. 24, 2017 at 5:59 PM CST
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A longtime College Station business is making a big change.

The Texas Aggieland Bookstore is no longer selling books.

Buying textbooks for college classes isn't how it used to be.

"I find it easier just to get on my tablet and have my books on there," said Texas A&M student Zachary Williams.

He wasn't surprised that the Texas Aggieland Bookstore is pulling textbooks from shelves.

"Almost everyone I know just orders online, and they pick it up at the A&M Book Store or Amazon, or those companies that sell books to students," he said.

Wiley Tarver, Site Manager for Texas Aggieland Bookstore, says there were more than a dozen textbook stores in town when he started in the business 18 years ago.

Now it's down to two.

"Well Mr. Raney just decided in the last summer that we would stop carrying books for a year, just kind of compare to how we did with the books. A lot of things have changed in the book market over the last 20 years. The internet sales, of course, being the main thing. Also, a lot of the publishers are bypassing the book stores all together," Tarver said.

Tarver says they'll be looking at how their other sales go to decide whether or not they want to bring back books some day.

"Everything else will be the same. We're trying to focus more on the clothing, the novelty gifts and then also focus in on our online sales trying to improve that," Tarver said.

The only options in town for textbooks are the Barnes & Noble in the Memorial Student Center and Textbook Solutions.

David Schwarz, manager at Texbook Solutions, says textbook rentals are a key part of business.

"We do see a big challenge with people just knowing that we're here, and knowing that there's other alternative to just buying on campus or just buying online," said Schwarz.

"I usually rent if it's required. If it's recommended, I usually don't buy it, or I get online access so I don't have a physical book to worry about," said Paige Milburn, Texas A&M student.

Texas Aggieland Bookstore's owner has told us changes to Northgate parking, including the removal of spots on University Drive, have hurt their business and access to it.