Opened in 1925 , the UNC-CH store is a trade bookstore — one that offers books for the general public as opposed to standard collegiate bookstores, which offer primarily academic resources.
Merchandise and textbooks stores are near-universal on college campuses and many have at least a small section for best-selling trade titles.
But UNC-CH is the only UNC-system school with a store dedicated just to trade books.
Erica Eisdorfer , former Bull’s Head manager of 25 years, said when she began working there she wanted to fill the shelves with a wide range of titles.
“When I left, the most important thing was to turn a profit,” she said. “And that’s sad.”
Eisdorfer said that when big-name competitors like Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com entered the book market, small bookstores everywhere felt the impact. She said the lack of university press academic texts in those bigger markets is disappointing.
“Scholarship is a beautiful thing. It separates people from beasts, and the ability to go in and read about gypsies in Britain in 1800 published by some university press, that’s a fantastic thing to do if you’re a scholar,” she said.
Eisdorfer said the store has had to expand its merchandise section to compete.