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Student Book Exchange closes as High Street redevelopment continues

Student Book Exchange closed its doors Dec. 22, after 64 years of being just a crosswalk away from Ohio State’s campus. Credit: Jacob Myers | Managing Editor for Content

As students begin prepping for the upcoming Spring Semester, a popular off-campus spot for buying books and apparel will no longer be available.

Student Book Exchange closed its doors Dec. 22, after 64 years of being just a crosswalk away from Ohio State’s campus.

Though the owner of the store declined to comment on the matter, posts on the store’s website and Facebook page confirmed the closure.  

“It is with great sadness that we are announcing SBX’s last day open on OSU’s campus,” the website post reads. “Having been a staple on campus since 1953, we truly appreciate Buckeye Nation and all of the students, fans, and family we’ve seen throughout the years.”

It is unclear whether SBX will return in a new location — if at all.

The closing of SBX was the last of five independent book stores previously lining High Street. College Town, University Book Exchange and Buckeye Books were each previously located on the strip. All three shut down in 2014.

Long’s Book Store, which was located at High Street and E. 15th Avenue since 1909, was demolished in 2016 after its property was sold to Campus Partners — Ohio State’s nonprofit development extension — in 2000.

It merged with Barnes and Noble and moved to South Campus Gateway in 2005, which is essentially the only book store left within walking distance of campus.

SBX’s end continues the domino-effect of closures brought forth by Campus Partners’ 15th and High development plan. It comes nearly two months after the closure of Too’s, an off-campus dive bar made popular for its live music and grungy atmosphere, and a few months before the impending end of another campus hotspot, The O Patio and Pub, which is set to close in the summer.

In turn, a “University Square” will be built by 2020, Erin Prosser, director of community development for Campus Partners, told The Lantern in August.

The buildings in the square will feature mixed-use retail spaces such as patios at street level and the upstairs space will house Ohio State administrative buildings. Additionally, an 11-story hotel will be built.

When asked about SBX specifically, Prosser deferred specifics to the owner, who did not wish to speak.

“Campus Partners work on High Street remains focused on the infrastructure improvements which include the construction of the new storm sewer on High Street, the separation of the combined sanitary sewer and rehabilitation of the water lines in the area,” Prosser said in an email.

In July 2015, Redstone Realty Company LLC, a Campus Partners real estate subsidiary, bought the properties at 1806 and 1812–1816 N. High St. that housed SBX, Raising Canes and A Slice of New York for $5.5 million.

Since then, Raising Canes has found a new home in Gateway. The manager of A Slice of New York told The Lantern at the time that Campus Partners was working with the business to find a new location.


  1. In the 1960ies SBX had beaucoup large posters hanging from clotheslines – Portraits sold well – Freud, Walt Whitman, Beatles, Anais Nin… I bought Jimi Hendrix and Wittgenstein [ I still have them! ]

    SBX engaged in a very political struggle for the freedom to read and study. In a fit of Anti-Communist – Anti-Russian silliness the Columbus city council passed and ordinance to ban all sales of books from Communist ‘Slave labor’ countries. SBX responded with a letter in the paper and the direct action of stocking books imported directly from the Soviet Union – books in Math and physics and languages. I have several of those books which are very good and very cheap [ the Soviet Union subsidized a project to translate and distribute some of their best pedagogy ].

    One of the managers was very interested in promoting a role of a bookstore in serving scholars. When I was in grad school in philosophy he would put in special orders for me with encouraging inquiries about my progress in philosophy. When I was a Lecturer in Black Studies in the OSU Black Studies Department 1973-78 I gave my list of required texts only to SBX and asked the students to shop there because SBX supported scholars like me.

  2. It is a pity that such institutions are closed. I thought it was a great book place. Now you have to go to another bookstore or download books for free in pdf format.

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