How to save money on your college book club subscriptions
By Catherine O’Connor, CTV CalgaryCalls for the book club to be banned on university campuses are growing, with students at universities across the country demanding to be able to buy their books from independent booksellers without having to go through booksellier chains like Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
In the wake of a major study released this week that found that nearly half of students surveyed said they bought their books through bookstores, and nearly one-third of college students said they had bought books at their school bookstore, a number of universities are exploring ways to limit access to books that may not be widely available online.
But that’s not stopping book club organizers at university bookstores.
Some say the best way to limit what students can buy is to ban the book clubs outright.
“There are a lot of great, great books out there.
They’re available on all the major platforms.
We’re the only ones that can sell them, so it’s not really about the books,” said Robyn Kiefer, a member of the university book club at the University of Calgary.
She says there are more than 300 book clubs across Canada, including several that are open 24 hours a day.
“We’re the first ones to have a book club, but we’re the last to have the ban,” she said.
The university chapter of the Association of American Publishers has issued a statement saying the university chapter does not support the ban and has been trying to get support from the province.
But Kief, the university’s chapter president, said they are not trying to “be the last group” to have books banned.
“I think it’s really important to recognize that there’s a lot out there that students and other people are going to have to learn and that’s why book clubs are great,” she added.
The association said the banning of book clubs is part of a larger effort by universities to promote diversity and inclusion, and said it supports policies to make it easier for students to buy books.
“It’s really the most comprehensive, most inclusive and most effective way that we can reach out to young people who might not be aware of the options available to them,” said the association’s president, Lisa Binder.
“We do believe that book clubs provide a really valuable service for students and they do provide an avenue for us to reach out.”
But with book clubs already banned in many colleges, the association is pushing back against bans.
“Book clubs are important for all students, and I think it really is important for students at any level of education to be aware that they’re in a place where they can buy books that they can read,” said Kief.
She said the university chapters will work with students, faculty and staff to discuss ways to expand access to book clubs.
“They have their own rules,” she told CTV’s Calgary Eyeopener.
“So, they may not necessarily want to do it right now, but it will come back to them as we continue to build those relationships.”