WMU buys private bookstore

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Western Michigan University will pay nearly $2 million to buy the privately owned University Bookstore operation, a textbook competitor, The Grand Rapids Press reported.

The store has been in business since 1958, and the property and building where it operates is now largely surrounded by campus, The Press reported. A college spokeswoman told The Press that the university has a longstanding practice of purchasing adjacent property when it becomes available.

Western Michigan already runs its own bookstore on campus, and it was unclear whether the University Bookstore would remain a retail textbook outlet, The Press reported.

Spokesperson Cheryl Roland said she was unsure how the move might affect textbook prices, The Press reported.

Some countries are moving away from paper textbooks altogether in favor of digital versions, The Press reported, among them South Korea, France, Singapore and Japan.

The Grand Rapids Press, “Western Michigan University spends $2 million to buy rival bookstore; other nations going digital,” July 25, 2011

Michigan Capitol Confidential, “MSU Tuition Restraint Debate Reaches Committee,” July 22, 2011