Saturday, July 7th, 2012...5:36 pm

Books & Man at Yale

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A recent visit to New Haven revealed that my favorite discount book outlet, Labyrinth Books, which had a very fine store on the north side of Yale, has closed that shop. Labyrinth describes itself as “an acclaimed independent bookstore for engaged readers” and observes that “Labyrinth serves Princeton University in all its course-book needs, taking a hands-on approach to assuring that students get their books and currently featuring a pilot program that provides students enrolled at Princeton with a 30% discount on their coursebooks.” Princeton provides a market that Yale does not, one supposes.

Evidently, Yale (and nearby University of New Haven, Quinnipiac University, and Southern Connecticut State University) cannot sustain a quality bookstore, which provided course textbooks as well as discounted trade and scholarly press books. For example, I know of no book store in the US where I could find as readily discounted books from Cambridge University Press (and, if you know CUP, you know that the discount is most welcome).

Yale is “served” (if that’s the word) by Barnes & Noble, but B&N’s selection has declined has declined over the years. Shelves in the front of the store that used to be well stocked with Yale University Press books now serve as displays for single copies of featured books by that distinguished scholarly publisher.

There is still Book Trader Cafe at the corner of York and Chapel, a fine little used book store (with good coffee, baked goods, and soup/sandwich).

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