Written and photographed by Victoria Lopatka
If you’re looking for exotic protein snacks, uterus-centric fridge magnets, or incredibly expensive leather book bags, look no further than your local SFU Bookstore. Shout-out to bookstore staff member Saadiyah, who helped me track down some of these things!
Most aesthetic thing for your dorm room
Kikkerland string of 20 silver LED lights for $9.95 each
No aesthetic Tumblr room is complete without at least one string of these babies. Nice ambient lighting is key to having a well put together, non-depressing room, whether or not you live on campus. They also make perfect background lighting for Netflix-watching or even romantic Netflix and chill sessions, especially with Valentine’s Day right around the corner.
Honourable mention: Handcrafted East 2nd Soap in Peppermint Twist for $13.95
Most stylish clothing item
SFU lounge/pyjama pant for $39.95
If you’re looking for a no-fuss, yet professional outfit for class, hanging out with friends, waiting in line for coffee, really any activity, look no further than these stylish pyjama pants. These say, “I’m educated, but I also like to sleep. A lot.” I couldn’t resist buying myself a pair.
Coast Cricket Protein Bars for $3.95 each
I’ve heard about these before but had no idea where to find them, until now. A new addition to the Bookstore menu: protein-rich, local, sustainable, high fibre, dairy and gluten free, and apparently, very tasty! They come in two flavours: peanut butter and dark chocolate raisin.
GoodDrink Mango Tea with Hibiscus and Vanilla for $2.75 a bottle
THIS STUFF. This stuff is so good, I would drink it every day if I could. My favourite is the Mango Tea, but all of them are really great and relatively affordable at only $2.75 a bottle. They’re refreshing and sweet, so make sure you don’t pass them by in the cooler at the front of the store.
Most random thing
Coprolite Fossilized Poop for $9.95
If you asked me, “Hey Victoria, what’s one thing you’re not expecting to find at the Bookstore today?” I wouldn’t have even thought to say “really old turtle poop” because that’s how random this is. I can’t even knock people who buy this though, since I have memories of being a kid and being fascinated by an owl-barf-pellet version of this, ripping it open with my grubby little fingers to find plastic mouse bones. University-age me just wonders, “Why, though?”
Honourable mention: Jabba the Hutt Vinyl Bobble-Head for $19.95
Best magnet to put on your mini fridge
“Cat Hair on Everything is the New Black” magnet for $4.95
I’m currently staring at my bare mini fridge, thinking about how I should’ve bought one of these magnets. If you have a cat, you just get this one, and you understand the struggle. I can’t even pet someone else’s cat or dog without fur coating my black leggings. The second one, though, I need an explanation for. A picture of a cartoon uterus karate-chopping a block of wood, amid the letters “Kung-Fu Uterus.” What does this mean? Is this supposed to resemble my uterus at that time of month? Who came up with this?
Honourable mention: “Kung-Fu Uterus” magnet for $4.95
Most expensive item
Vintage Tribe Leather small school bag for $320.00
When I asked about the most expensive non-textbook item, staff members immediately pointed me to this book bag, kept behind the cashier counter. The tag describes it as a tough, yet soft, waterproof, durable, leather school bag from a family-operated tannery in Italy. Maybe I don’t know good bags (my pleather $12 backpack with a twice-fixed strap says I don’t), but I don’t understand this insane price tag. Who is this for???
Best greeting card for any occasion
“Aye Papi!” Drake greeting card for $6.95
OK, this, THIS is fantastic. I can’t think of an occasion I wouldn’t want to send or receive this card. If I’m in the hospital, send me this card. If it’s my birthday, send me this card. On graduation day, send me this card. When I retire from a lifelong profession, SEND ME THIS CARD.
Most unnecessarily SFU-centric item
Matching SFU ribbon and bow for $4.95
I have a hate-love relationship with this item. On one hand, I think it’s awfully cocky for someone at the Bookstore to be like, “You know what we need? Expensive ribbons and bows with SFU’s logo and colours.” On the other hand, though, I might go back and buy it, give it to my parents and ask them to wrap my graduation gift in it, two years from now. I appreciate SFU’s extraness in this case.
Best thing in the clearance bin
The Art of Rock & Roll 2018 calendar for $29.95 (minus 50% discount)
I want to preface this by saying I’m a sucker for a good deal. I’m also a sucker for buying things that make me look like I have a better taste in music than I actually do, and that make my room more aesthetic. So if you’re like me, go clearance bin diving for this treasure.
Most expensive pen
SFU Signo Uniball Pen for $5.50
I may waste my money on SFU ribbons and Drake greeting cards, but you won’t catch me wasting my money on a $5.50 pen, especially when there’s a bin of simple blue ones for 25 cents each right beside it.
Best gift for your parents
Woodlands Morph Mug for $13.95
Originally, I thought the tacky red ““Best. Mom. Ever.” SFU T-shirt was the best gift for your parents (because parents love anything you buy them, right?), but then I saw this magical mug. The concept is that it’s dark and pretty plain until you pour hot liquid into it, then it morphs into a colourful forest scene. I had one of these as a kid (it had a scene from Harry Potter on it), and 10/10 would recommend this mug as an entertaining gift.
Honourable mention: “Best. Mom. Ever.” SFU T-shirt for $18.50
Heaviest book in the non-fiction section
Humans of New York Stories by Brandon Stanton for $34.50
This book is both physically and emotionally heavy, hence why I chose it. (Jokes aside, though, it’s actually a really lovely book and would make a great gift for the aspiring photographer or journalist in your life.)
Purple and gold orbits notebook for $19.95
Maybe it’s just me, but I find cute and aesthetic notebooks just make me enjoy class more (or maybe I use my favourite notebooks for my favourite classes, hm . . .) Either way, if you’re not a fan of the generic light blue, lined, spiral bound notebooks, you may want to venture into the non-fiction book section for these beauties. If only they were spiral bound, they would maybe come close to being worth $20.
Honourable mention: Peter Pauper Press cannabis journal for $10.99