I’m taking a note out of Harriet’s blogs today, the song title/blog title thingy, with my cue from Maximo Park. Ok, only one line of this song is relevant to today’s post, but I have indeed spent the evening packing books and boxes, ready to unpack them when I arrive back in LE2 tomorrow.
As a historian, books are something we get used to very quickly, and I’ve already posted about some of my experiences of the library here. But there is another outlet of literary knowledge that deserves equal attention, the SUs very own second-hand bookshop, AKA Willingales.
Willingales (don’t ask me where the name comes from, any ideas anyone?) opened when our SU was re-opened after a £16Million redevelopment in October 2010. Here’s the deal: Students place their books in the shop, choose their own price, and if they get bought, the shop takes a quarter if I remember correctly, and you keep the rest!
For the seller, they get profit from books they no longer want or need (perhaps they only needed the book for 1 module), and can put the money towards their next academic purchase (or otherwise!). Or alternatively, they might have graduated and don’t want to keep any of their textbooks – give them to Willingales!
For the buyer, you can often find things at much cheaper prices than brand new: I got a 500-page book on Henry V, RRP £20, £14 on a certain “rainforest” website, for £10! Bargain, especially if you’re a thrifty student! Occasionally you may find the odd highlighted page, or notes in the margins, but these just add to the whole second-hand experience – just think of the previous student going through the same thing as you now! As History is one of those subjects where you might want a few core textbooks across your modules, many people head here to snatch them up first – once they’re gone they’re gone!!
Whilst the shop covers the full range of academic subjects at the Uni, they also have a range of fiction or popular books that people have submitted to the shop – I picked up a copy of the late Christopher Hitchens‘ “God is Not Great”, which, whilst I strongly disagree with his conclusions, was a useful addition to my growing philosophy and religion bookshelf!
And they also sell Uni hoodies, postcards, graduation teddies and cufflinks too!
But don’t tell anyone about the ATM in there – that was my secret place to get cash out on campus until people started cottoning-on that it was there…