Feature Story: It’s More Than a Bookstore

If you visit Reinhardt University and find yourself in need of a coffee, you won’t have to look much further than the university’s bookstore. Located in the center of campus, just inside the Glasshouse building, the bookstore actually sells a variety of merchandise and you will find that it has just about everything you need. And, if you need help during your visit, Manager Janet Sweany is always glad to help customers and show you where everything is.

Reinhardt University’s Bookstore started out as a privately owned store called The Eagle Eye Bookstore. They primarily sold the textbooks students used in their classes. As the university grew, the store was taken over by Barnes & Nobles Booksellers who retained control  for a few years. As the university grew and changed presidents, the store was handed over to the Follett Company and the store became much more than just a bookstore. Through the bookstore, Follett sells everything from the usual textbooks, shirts, pajama pants, car flags, beanies and food to medicine, hot coffee, book bags and a wide assortment of electronics and home furnishings available online to be shipped to the store.

Supplies at the bookstore
Supplies at the bookstore

Janet Sweany has been the manager of the Reinhardt University Bookstore for almost four years and is a long-time employee of Follett. She has worked for other campus bookstores in places like Milledgeville, so she has the knowledge it takes to help you with all your campus needs. It’s no secret that Sweany is very easy to get along with and is always willing to do whatever she can to help her customers. You may not know that Sweany is a mom, and because of that she sympathizes very well and looks after her customers. Sweany will gladly even tell you when the next sale is happening.

Now you may not know this, but the bookstore doesn’t just sell all the hardbound books that campus teachers say students need for class. No, in addition to working with the teachers to find out which books they’re going to want to use, the store also sells books for leisurely reading. The best part is that whether you’re buying a novel or a textbook, the store offers a wide variety of new, used, hardbound, paperback, and even digital books. Just ask any employee for help and they’ll gladly show you the ropes, and if you want a book that isn’t there, you can order it and have it shipped to the store. The bookstore prides itself on providing a hassle-free atmosphere where you can ask any of the employees for help, and they can give you the information you need from finding and buying textbooks to which books are optional for classes and how to use an e-book.

Ok, big deal the bookstore sells books. That’s not a secret; you already knew that. Well did you know that the next time you’re sick you don’t have to walk any further for medicine than you would for a class? That’s right the bookstore sells some over the counter medicines. Did you also know that the next time you’re hungry and don’t have much time to get food you can swing by the store and pick up a variety of different snacks from candy to granola to a cup of noodles. As Sweany often says, “If you can’t find what you want, you must not be hungry.”

The bookstore is located in the bottom of the Hasty Student Life Center directly under the REC room, and it stays open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Thursday and 9 am to 3 pm on Fridays. The bookstore doesn’t just sell to students; it also sells to staff, alumni, parents, guests, and unassociated families. Students at the university often say the main problem is that the store needs to expand. The small bookstore has ambitions to one day upgrade to a bigger facility to better meet the needs of its customers.

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