As the academic year begins, Jayant Book Centre at Borivli becomes a magnet for local college students. They rush there to return textbooks of the year they have passed and pick up books for the next session. On returning the old books, they get back half the price they had paid at the time of purchase, if the books are in good condition.
Second-hand bookstores have become the lifeline of cash-starved students across the city. At most such stores, the recycled books come with a buy-back guarantee at 50 per cent of the cost price. Thus, they are not only light on the pocket but also come with little notes and tips scribbled by previous users. For those averse to dog-ears, these stores also sell new books with an assurance of buying them back at 50 per cent of the cost if they are returned in good condition.
“We reduce the return percentage if the book is partially damaged. We have marginal profit margin and make a loss if the syllabus changes as we have to take the books back, pay the promised amount but cannot resell them,” said Manish Gala, Jayant Book Centre owner.
Bookstores stamp or sign on a book’s back page as a mark of identification. Usually located near colleges, they cater to courses offered by colleges and some also offer discounts on books for competitive examinations and master’s courses.