Book man hasn’t read them all yet


Students explore books, films, and antiques up for sale by Robert Waskowizz in the Student Union Feb. 14.

Amstrid Gomez, Copy Editor

Once a month, UPJ community members may notice tables lined with books and knickknacks outside the Cambria Room. Behind those tables is a man who is usually reading a book.

Greensburg resident Robert Waskowizz said he has been selling books at UPJ for about 15 years.

Waskowizz said he used to own a bookstore called The Book Experience, and the books he sells are the ones he has left.

He said he sets up a date once a month through Student Life Administrative Assistant Joann Brant. Brant said the fee he pays for the tables is $25 or 20 percent of sales depending on which is the lower.

Administrative Assistant Chris Glova said Waskowizz usually calls about a week in advance to request permission to sell his books.

Waskowizz said the main reason he sells books at UPJ is the variety of people.
“One of the joys of doing this is meeting people from all over the world with a variety of different backgrounds. The diversity of the student body is fascinating.”

He said another reason he loves being at the university, is that the people who stop to browse through his book collection are readers. He said he has been collecting books since he was 5-years-old.

“The first novel I read was ‘Treasure Island,’ ” Waskowizz said, “and I have been passionate about books since.”

Admissions Counselor Josh Kohler said he stopped to check out the books due to a passion for reading.
“I was an English major (at Washington & Jefferson College), so I have a fascination with books. Sometimes used book places are the best way to get them.”

Waskowizz said the pride in his book sale doesn’t come from what he sells.
“It’s the pleasure of the individual’s experience when they find what they want,” he said. “Sometimes people find something they have been looking for and get excited.”

UPJ Junior Wendy Miller found something that she liked.

“I always stop here because he has cool stuff, but, today, I stopped for the Valentine’s cards; I’m going to buy one because some of these are really cute.”

Millers friend, junior Jennifer Brady, said she never bought anything from Waskowizz, but said the items look interesting.

“Wendy told me about it, so I decided to check it out,” she said. “I don’t carry cash so I have never bought anything. If I were to find something I really like then I would get cash.”

Waskowizz said one of the questions most people ask him is if he has read all the books he sells— he hasn’t.

“You get one book and then you keep buying them. All of a sudden, you have so many books that you don’t get a chance to read them all.”