By bringing Your:Books into the twenty-first century our Union could have prevented its demise.
They cost virtually every student hours of their time, not to mention copious amounts of cash and, ultimately, end up gathering dust on a shelf somewhere. Books: not perhaps the most exciting element of university life but, let’s be honest, not really something from which any of us can escape. And, while we can’t spend all of our time in the pub, there’s no harm in counting the pennies when it comes to reading lists so you can enjoy a nice quiet round – or six – in The Charles with your mates.
The planned closure of Your:Books has the potential not only to severely damage bank balances across campus, as the paltry second hand selection in Blackwells doesn’t really compare, but undermine the integrity of campus services. The little profit Your:Books made was pumped straight back into YUSU and therefore was for our benefit. The way to turn it around now is surely to pursue with running it as the valuable service it is. By better supporting Your:Books YUSU have the chance to make it as widely used as it deserves to be, so that in the long run it can become a profitable company.
So how is it that Your:Books ended up in this situation? To start with, it’s shockingly advertised, failing to take advantage of the hordes of Freshers this year who neglected to acquire their personal libraries before the start of term. The shop was given barely a mention in the welcoming talks. Had they capitalised on this captive market, Your:Books might have avoided its impending doom.
Another prudent option might have been for YUSU to recognise the dawn of the digital age. With a little time and effort, Your:Books could have plumbed the hitherto barely resources of the internet and reaped the rewards. Our cyber-savvy but apathetic generation would surely have assuaged their guilt and supported the student organisation over global retailers like Amazon had there been an online facility.
Then, of course, there’s the loss of revenue for every penniless student at the end of the year when all are lumbered with piles of books that even Oxfam won’t touch with a ten-foot bargepole. Gone will be the days of forty percent re-purchases; even if Blackwells does offer this service, it’s highly unlikely that student interest will be at heart. Clearly we will all have to submit ourselves to medical testing over the summer in order to fund next year’s book habit.