A&E: Students consider the pros and cons between purchasing books from Barnes & Noble versus recycled book stores


Sarah Olson

Many students prefer to shop for books at recycled book stores over stores like Barnes & Noble.

While Barnes & Noble, a chain bookstore company across the U.S., has great services and reads, some prefer recycled book stores over Barnes & Noble.

Sophomore Ivan Jomari Rivera enjoys purchasing their books from Recycled Book Store, which is in San Jose. They also shop at Barnes & Noble and check out books from the Northside Library.

“It’s (Recycled Book Store) also the most affordable of the three, especially the more decrepit the books get,” Rivera said. “Even if they decrease (in quality), they’re still readable, clean and in place. Only the spines or pages merely look used.”

Sophomore Violet O’Brien shared that her favorite alternative bookstore to Barnes & Noble provides many benefits to her and has sentimental value as well.

“A bookstore I usually shop at is a place called Hicklebees in San Jose. It’s definitely my favorite,” O’Brien said. “I have lots of memories of going there when I was younger, and it is more affordable than Barnes & Noble, and it’s always been reliable.”

Similar to O’Brien, freshman Ana Gomez prefers recycled book stores over Barnes & Noble and feels the two provide very different experiences.

“As cheesy as it sounds, I get a vibe, and being able to know the books aren’t being turned into something else for their paper, they’re given a second chance to be read,” Gomez said. “I feel like with recyclable book stores I usually wouldn’t come out with books that I wouldn’t initially think of grabbing.”

Junior Arnav Dayal shops both online and in stores, from Amazon Books to Barnes & Noble. He shared that despite virtual reading being more accessible, Barnes & Noble provides an entirely different reading experience.

“The people there and the community there are good for book recommendations,” Dayal said. “Barnes & Noble sets up their own book clubs. I’ve made plenty of friends just talking to people about the books I’ve read.”

Rivera stands in the perspective of a reader attempting to save money on books and feels that in terms of spending funds while reading, recycled stores are more cost-effective.

“I think the prices for its (Barnes & Noble) products are pretty expensive in terms of my social class,” Rivera said. “It’s usually the same prices or more expensive than the ones that I’ve bought from other local bookstores, but never cheaper.”

While Gomez prefers her own recycled book store over Barnes & Noble, she admits its products do intrigue customers.

“It’s definitely more than books, and you have more options to do there, more things to look at. They have vinyls,” Gomez said.

While some prefer the virtual accessibility and some prefer the comfort of a recycled book store, many expressed that their love for books is not measured by the bookstore of their purchase, but by their passion for reading.

“It’s (reading) a good way to pass the time, especially since it’s an alternative way for entertainment that’s not in front of a screen,” Dayal said.