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South Carolina Book Store, 801 Main Street: Summer 2019 (moved, refocused)   8 comments

Posted at 11:55 pm in closing

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I'm not sure how much USC still uses "textbooks" in the old sense. I haven't discussed it with anyone now in college, but my impression is that a lot of the books now are in ebook form. Since it sounds like the South Carolina Book Store is really getting out of the textbook market, that may be what happened.

At any rate, when I was in college this place was a sure visit every semester. In those, pre-internet, days this store and the USC owned textbook concession in the Russell House had a duopoly lock on the student book market. I usually tried to get all my bokos on campus, but invaribly there were one or two that were sold out and had to be tracked down here. They would also buy back textbooks, and from time to time growing up, my father would take me here with boxes of books that he had been sent in the hopes he would choose them for his classes, and would sell them, giving the proceeds to my sister and me. (I think he felt it wouldn't be quite right to take the money himself).

Aside from the texts, this place also had a heady mix of pencils, pens, notebooks, art supplies and drafting paper. There was a certain very specific smell when you walked in from all the paper and pencils. If I recall correctly, I had to get all my drafting supplies for my all-time least favorite class: Introduction To Engineering Drafting (or some similar name). I had a compass, gum erasers, drafting pencils, drafting paper and straight-edge. All of that, and after trying all day, I still could not draw a bolt in 3D perspective.

Despite driving past this store many times since college, I don't think I have been in since the 1980s, and I now it's too late to see if it still smelled the same..

(Hat tip to commenter Sidney)

Written by ted on August 5th, 2019

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