After many years of serving the literary and pecuniary needs of Yale students, The Used Book Association announced in a campus-wide e-mail early Tuesday morning that it would be closing down permanently at the end of the semester.
TUBA, as a member of Yale’s Associated Student Agencies, is currently housed in ASA’s Hendrie Hall headquarters. But, because ASA is moving to a new location on Church Street, there is no longer any room for TUBA’s inventory of used books, and due to a decrease in profits there was little incentive to search for a new location for the organization, TUBA co-manager Lauren Fine ’06 said.
Fine said the organization is hoping to arrange the sale of some of their inventories to the Yale Bookstore, which she said would mean TUBA might be able to stay in business on a smaller scale.
“It’s really too bad,” said Chris Hudson ’07 who uses the service. “I think the campus needs more organizations like this one, especially since textbooks can be so expensive.”
Fine said TUBA was founded to address the needs of students like Hudson. Students set their own prices for the books they give to TUBA at the end of each semester, Fine said. They then receive about 70 percent of the profits.
“It’s just one efficient way of getting cheap books,” she said.
TUBA’s advocates said it is a much more useful way of buying and selling used books than the other options that are available to students. Internet sites can be unreliable, Fine said, and Jennifer-Sarah Bolton ’08 said organizations like the Yale Bookstore and Yale Station often do not give students back as much of the profits from their books.
But while students said they liked the idea of TUBA, many had never heard of the organization before opening their e-mails this morning.
Andy Levy ’05 said that he did not believe TUBA’s closing would have large repercussions for the Yale community.
“I’ve really never heard of TUBA before,” he said. “If I wanted to sell books I would have taken them to the Yale Bookstore. The fact that The Used Book Agency is closing doesn’t really affect me.”
Other students said they were disappointed they had not used TUBA in the past and that now they would not have the opportunity of doing so in the future.
“I was going to take Constitutional Law this semester and I bought books for it that were really expensive,” Allie Rubin ’08 said. “When I decided not to take the class it would have been a good thing if I had known about TUBA, because not only would I have been able to get money back for books I wasn’t going to use, someone else could have bought them for a cheaper price. I’m sure this kind of thing happens a lot because of the way shopping period at Yale works, so it’s too bad The Used Book Association is closing.”
Students who have used the service in the past said they have had mixed experiences. Some said they found TUBA to be a great method of exchanging books, but others were not so enthusiastic.
Although he was disappointed the organization was going out of business, Hudson also noted that looking for books at TUBA when he was a freshman had been frustrating.
“They had a lot of really interesting stuff but nothing that I actually could use,” Hudson said. “I also wish that the way of accessing materials had been better. It was really cluttered when I went last year and hard to find things.”
Fine said TUBA will return books that have not yet been resold to their original owners.