on top of fashions, best sellers
Some CSUS students and visitors may see the Hornet Bookstore as
a place to stop between classes and grab a quick Snickers bar or,
reluctantly, drop a few hundred dollars on textbooks at the start
of each semester. But those who take a closer look will find that
the Bookstore offers much more – a place to buy the latest
fashions or the hot new best seller.
One look around the Bookstore and it’s easy to see it doesn’t
only offer the standard sweatshirts and other college memorabilia.
There is also a taste of many of the same styles that college students
and their peers can find at their favorite trendy store or catalog.
“Hooded sweatshirts are always a hot seller,” says Susan
Gallo, merchandising manager. “But now we’re starting
to offer apparel such as spaghetti-strap tanks and Capri pants in
a more fitted style for women.” Gallo says that manufacturers
have started to take notice that women are more interested in wearing
college apparel that is styled like something they would buy in
a regular clothing store.
This forces Gallo to stay on top of trends that translate into sales
in the Bookstore’s apparel area. So in addition to ordering
hooded sweatshirts just as temperatures rise in the summer, Gallo
must stay ahead of the fashion curve and think about how many tank
tops to order as most people are donning turtlenecks and parkas
Of course, what sets these garments apart, is the “CSUS”
emblazoned in huge letters on the chest – and in some cases
rear – of the garment. “That’s the trend these
days,” says Gallo, referring to the occasional posterior positioning
of the CSUS name. “We’ll see what the trend is next
And while bookstore visitors can always find a comfy CSUS sweatshirt
or Herky the Hornet t-shirt, if they venture further on the first
floor to the area under the stairs, they are likely to find much
Although some students associate that area purely with textbooks,
many are pleasantly surprised to find that they can also pick up
the latest best sellers, discounted 20 percent.
“Students are usually standing in lines to buy their books
and that’s when they realize we offer a large selection of
‘other’ books,” says Judy Boliver, general book
buyer. ”We are a college bookstore, meaning we can’t
always compete with some of the larger retailers on price, but we
do come close and definitely make up for it in our level of customer
Boliver explains that in addition to best sellers, the Hornet Bookstore
carries books by smaller publishers that may not find their way
into a larger retailer. Local buying gives the Hornet Bookstore
the freedom to offer books by local and faculty authors, as well
as titles that colleagues and customers suggest. And Bookstore staff
is happy to order.
The Bookstore has further committed to providing customers with
a range of choices by joining Booksense, a national marketing campaign
that works to promote the goals of independent bookstores. Booksense
publishes a list of best sellers, much like The New York Times best
seller list, but according to Boliver, the list reflects more diverse,
nationwide interests, as opposed to the Times list, which she says
tends to have an East Coast slant.
The commitment to their customers is further evidenced by their
support of literary causes such as a “Banned Book Sale,”
held each year in September. “Believe it or not, books are
still banned,” says Boliver. “We want to let people
know it still happens.” Boliver says some of the banned titles
aren’t just obscure books by unknown authors, but classical
literature that should be available to everyone.
In addition to an area devoted to works by CSUS faculty, the Bookstore
also participates in many on-campus events that feature authors,
and handles the ordering and selling of the author’s book
at the event. This allows departments and other organizations on
campus to focus on the author as a speaker, and lets the Bookstore
do what it does best: sell books. Currently, the Bookstore is featuring
a catalog of selected works now on display by famed local artist
Wayne Thiebaud. The exhibit of Thiebaud’s paintings is on
display in the University Library Gallery through July 25.