Douglas bookstore gothic

Illustration by Cara Seccafien
Illustration by Cara Seccafien

The elusive POLI 1101 textbook

By Mercedes Deutscher, Social Media Coordinator


It’s the first week of September.

You are almost relieved to be back to school, after you spent 50 hours per week scooping ice cream for horrible first dates or kids with nothing better to do for mere nickels per hour. After that, you at least made enough money for your textbooks.

You spend three hours trying to remember the password to your Douglas account, preening to know the titles of the books you must purchase. Alas, you finally gain access. You need six textbooks, selling used for $85 or new for $15,983.

Your first class of the day is at 10:30 am. You arrive on campus at 10 am, hoping to quickly purchase your textbooks before class begins. Half an hour is plenty of time, you tell yourself. This is a lie.

The line for the bookstore wraps around the building tenfold. The person at the end of the line holds a sign. It reads “Four hour wait to enter bookstore.” Another holds a different sing: “We’re all doomed” it reads.

You shake your head in disappointment and opt to wait in the Tim Hortons lineup instead—a mere 35 minutes for your iced cappuccino.

Arriving late to the first day of class, you receive a glare from the professor of POLI 1101 as you chose your seat. The professor, in his lecture about the syllabus, explains that there are reading questions at the end of every chapter. These questions are due every week.

Class ends early and you glance at your schedule. Your next class isn’t until 4:30 pm, thanks to last semester’s mediocre GPA and you forgetting when your registration time was. A study break, you called it. In reality, it will become the time you watch Netflix on the library computers and smoke weed near the DSU.

Perhaps now would be a good time to attempt to get your textbooks. You find the back of the line for the bookstore. Thankfully, it now only wraps around the building seven times. You move up the line in groups while you stalk your ex on Instagram for a while. All too soon, your phone dies. You look behind you and are relieved that at least the line behind you is now longer than the line in front of you.

You feel you have probably missed your next class by now since it seems you have been in line for 127 hours.

You see a beautiful sight ahead, the doors to the bookstore! Douglas security ushers you in. A staff member at the bookstore stares at you with judgement. You are taking too long in the bookstore. The bookstore is displeased.

You go to grab the textbooks you need off of the shelves. Much to your dismay, the only used textbook you can find in the store is the cheapest one on your list, only costing $10 to get new.

Shock and panic overcome you as you see that there are no textbooks available for POLI 1101. You will need to come back later.

The lineup for the cashier seems like climbing a mountain. Not because the bookstore is on an incline, but because your five textbooks weigh as much as your 1991 Toyota Corolla. When you do reach the cashier, the counter shakes under the weight of your books. You end up emptying your bank account for the books. At least you have $105 left for the POLI 1101 textbook… when it comes in.

A week passes. It is your third class in POLI 1101 and your professor asks for the textbook questions at the end of class. You panic, seeing that everyone but you is in possession of the questions and textbook. Excusing yourself to “use the washroom,” you run to the bookstore.

The store has gone back to its ghost quiet status that it sits in outside of the first week of the semester. You enter with ease. By the luck of the old gods and the new, your textbook has been restocked! You grab the book and walk up the cashier, who scans your book.

Success, at last… Until next semester, that is.

The book costs $115.