Students, faculty reminisce about Follett's as it prepares to close

Follett’s Orange Bookstore will be shutting its doors Feb. 24, much to the shock and disappointment of Syracuse University students and faculty who viewed the store as a convenient alternative to the SU Bookstore. 

Follett’s bought out the individually owned bookstore Bandit Bob’s about 24 years ago, said Haleigh Morgan, Follett’s higher education campus relations specialist. It has occupied the space in Marshall Square Mall since November 1988. Follett’s parent corporation owns more than 900 stores nationwide.

Photo: Gabriel Shore

The SU location is closing due to a number of factors, Morgan said. Chief among those factors is that the store’s operations are no longer economically feasible, Morgan said.

Students who rented their textbooks through Follett’s Rent-A-Text program can return the books to SUNY Medical Bookstore at 155 Elizabeth Blackwell St. starting May 9.

SU students who still want to use Follett’s after the store closes can look into the e-book options, said Morgan. E-books are available through Follett’s new platform, There, students can purchase digital copies of their books, which can be easily downloaded to a computer or an e-reader.

But SU faculty, staff and students said the physical store will be missed.

Kathleen Bradley, text and general book manager at the SU Bookstore, said Follett’s provided good competition to the university bookstore. “When I first heard the news that Follett’s would be closing, it was definitely a huge surprise for me, especially since they are our main competition,” she said.

When Bradley was a student, she used to buy her textbooks at Follett’s. Now, as an SU employee, Bradley has worked closely with Follett’s in ensuring the SU Bookstore continues to provide students with competitive pricing on textbooks.

Penelope Resulta, a junior international relations student, said she enjoys the convenience of having more than one bookstore from which she can purchase her textbooks. She often compares Follett’s prices to those at the SU Bookstore in her hunt for the best textbook deals, she said.

Matt Cleary, associate professor of political science, has taught at SU for seven years. In that time, he has exclusively ordered textbooks for his classes through Follett’s. Follett’s has great customer service, he said, as well as a welcoming atmosphere.

“I always preferred Follett’s because the staff in the textbook section – and especially Jason Tsistinas – were so helpful and accommodating,” Cleary said. “They would search for used copies, track down copies of some books that were out of print and thus hard to find, and often do it all on short notice."

Aileen Gallagher, assistant professor of multiplatform journalism in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, purchased her textbooks at Follett’s when she was a student at SU in 1996. She was a strong advocate of Follett’s then because she believed in supporting the local businesses in the community.

Gallagher would like to see another bookstore open in Follett’s place, preferably individually owned, she said, to give students a wide option for used and rental textbooks.

“You could go buy your books from ‘the man,’ or you could go buy your books form the ‘little guy,’” Gallagher said. “But anytime students’ choices are limited it’s a bad thing."


Probably not

All of the merchandise was overpriced.  Just like most college bookstores.  Online is winning this competition.

maybe they'd still be around

maybe they'd still be around if they weren't charing $8.00 for a notebook!

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.