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About Textbooks

To Shop Textbooks Online

Use our price comparison tool to find the best prices for your course materials. (Log in with your Cornell NetID, then go to Books/Shop Textbooks...). In the price comparison tool you’ll see prices for all the formats we offer for each title (new, rental, used, digital) and prices from several other online retailers. From the price comparison tool you can decide which titles to purchase through which site, and start a shopping cart for each. Please note: Prices listed from other vendors include shipping estimates.

When purchasing with The Cornell Store:

  • Enter a ship-to address even if you want to pick up in store. You can then select “in-store pickup” as your desired method.
  • In-store pickup is only available when books are purchased from The Cornell Store, not other vendors.
  • Credit cards, CornellCard and Cornell Store gift cards are accepted for online purchases.
  • If you request in-store pickup, you will receive two emails: one when the order is placed and a second email will come when your order is complete and ready for pickup. Please do not come to pick up until you receive this second email.

Textbook Terms and Conditions

  • Prices may change without notice.
  • Courses or books may be cancelled or added at any time.
  • Students will not be compensated for books purchased from any other source utilizing the information on this website.

To Shop Textbooks In-store

Textbooks are in the lower level of the store and are arranged in alphabetical order by author’s last name. Kiosks are available which will print your booklist in alphabetical order by author’s last name.

Textbook Tips

Rent and save!

The Cornell Store rents thousands of books every semester to save students money. Rent textbooks on our website or check our shelves to see which titles are available for rent. Rental books must be returned by the last day of finals.


When you rent from the Cornell Store, you have the convenience of in-store pickup, the assurance that returns for a refund are quick and simple and the ease of dropping off your rental at the end of the term in store.


Compare our prices with our online competitors

Our price comparison tool helps you compare our textbook prices with other merchants. You can select where you want to buy each title and checkout directly from our site. Using our price comparison tool lets you find the BEST prices for all your books.


Order online and pick up in-store

Let us do the work. Order textbooks online from The Cornell Store and pick up your books when it's convenient for you. You will receive an e-mail notification when your order is ready.


Consider attending class before buying your books

Knowing how and when the books will be used in class can help you make purchase decisions. But note that waiting may mean used or rentable copies of popular titles are no longer available.


Pay attention to the book return rules

Refer to the textbook refund policy for refund rules each semester. The refund policy is always available on this site, and we share it with you when you purchase textbooks.


Get cash back during Textbook Buyback

We pay a premium for titles adopted for the following semester, even if you purchased the book used or from another source. Provide your Cornell ID or Net ID when you make your purchase and we’ll email you a reminder at the end of the semester.


Textbook FAQs

Do I need to buy ALL book titles recommended for my courses?

Not necessarily. Check your online booklist to distinguish between titles that are required and those that are listed as optional. A careful review of the course syllabus can also help you determine the extent of the reading assigned or when a book will be used during the course. Uncertain how substantially a book will be used? Ask your professor or another student who has taken the class.


What's the best way to pay for my textbooks?

The CornellCard. You can apply for CornellCard online or at the Bursar's office so that your ID can function as a charge account. Bills for purchases made on the card at any of over twenty campus locations will be sent with your tuition statements. Other acceptable forms of payment are cash, credit card, personal check, or traveler's check.


How are the prices of textbooks determined?

The Cornell Store buys books from used book companies, publishers, and other vendors at the lowest prices we can find, and we pass those savings on to you. We set retail prices that allow enough margin to cover our costs to get the books onto the shelves here in the store and provide you with good customer service. The pricing of many of our books is market-based, meaning that we price according to supply and demand in the national market. We wish that all textbooks cost less, but The Cornell Store does what it can to lower the price of course materials whenever possible.


What is The Cornell Store doing to address the issue of the high cost of textbooks?

We are continually working to find ways to help students manage their investment in course materials. Our efforts include:

  • Searching the market for low-priced used books, and passing those savings on to students through lower purchase and rental prices;
  • Offering an online price comparison tool so students can compare textbook prices from The Cornell Store and other online merchants;
  • Renting textbooks directly from our store;
  • Offering tens of thousands of money-saving used books;
  • Expanding our selection of lower-priced eBooks;
  • Returning over $1 million in cash to students each year through Textbook Buyback;
  • Educating faculty on cost-conscious textbook adoption strategies;
  • Helping faculty produce custom course packs that consolidate academic materials from multiple sources into one more cost-effective product.

How does the Textbook Buyback program work?

Textbook Buyback runs year-around in-store and at the end of each semester. (The best prices are paid at the end of each semester). Buying textbooks back from students helps us to keep a robust selection of used books in stock and allows us to return cash to students.


Do I have to get all my textbooks now, or can I buy some later in the semester?

Many textbooks are kept in stock only until the middle of the current semester, except those that we know faculty will be using later in the semester. Although we can order any materials you may need, it's best to complete your purchases early in the semester.



Textbook Rental Program FAQs

How does the in-store rental process work?

Use our online textbook price comparison tool to shop online or check our shelves to see if any of your titles are available for rent. Textbooks available for rent have two different prices based on condition, the new rental price and the used rental price. Select the textbook you would like to rent in the desired condition. Review the rental terms and conditions which are available online, or at the checkout counter. If purchasing in-store, you will be required to show your Cornell ID prior to your transaction. If a book you brought to the counter is available to rent the cashier will ask you if you would like to rent or purchase the book. Completing the transaction indicates your acceptance of the rental terms. Save your receipt. It will be needed if you want to return your book for a refund during the textbook refund period.


Why would I want to rent a textbook?

Many students are only interested in using some textbooks for the duration of a class. Renting for a semester typically costs less than half of the new book price. Renting removes the risk of how much the book may be worth at the end of the semester and you can capture the savings up front instead of waiting for Textbook Buyback at the end of the term. If you decide to keep the book, you can purchase it at any time during the rental period for the difference between the new rental fee and the current new selling price or the used rental fee and the current used selling price, based on whether the book was rented in new or used condition at time of transaction.


Can I get a refund on a rented book?

Yes. Refunds for textbooks rented in-store or online from the Cornell Store will be treated in the same manner as refunds for purchased textbooks. Our standard course materials return policy will apply. All returns must be in salable condition, in the condition purchased, and be accompanied with the receipt.


Why isn't the book for my class available for rent?

Unfortunately, not all textbooks qualify for our rental program. There are multiple factors that are considered, from how current the text is to the size of the class, and how consistently the course is offered.


Are the rental books used copies or new copies?

If a book is available for rent, a student can decide to purchase a new rental or used rental based upon availability. There are different costs associated with rentals based on condition.


I saw that a used text rental was an option for my class but The Cornell Store didn't have a used rental copy when I got there.

Rental stock is limited to our on hand quantities of a book. As used copies and used rental copies of books sell out, students will have the option of purchasing new copies or new rental copies of the book. Students who shop early will be the most likely to acquire rental copies in the condition they desire.


When do I have to return my rental text to the Cornell Store?

Before the close of business on the last day of scheduled final exams each semester. We will send email notices reminding you of the return deadline, but the responsibility to return is yours.


What if I forget to return the book at the end of the semester?

If at time of initial purchase you rented a new copy, a charge equal to the difference between the amount paid for the new rental and the current cost of a new copy, plus a 10% handling fee will be charged to your bursar account. If at time of initial purchase you rented a used copy, a charge equal to the difference between the amount paid for the used rental and the current cost of a used copy, plus a 10% handling fee will be charged to your bursar account.


Can I turn in my rental book when I return for the following semester?

No. The charge to your bursar account will stand. We may be able to purchase your copy at the current buyback price.


Can I use a highlighter in my rental text?

Books must be returned in salable condition as determined by store staff. Minimal highlighting and marking is allowed. Books with damage to the spine, torn covers, missing pages, or any water damage will not be accepted.


What if my book was lost, stolen, or damaged beyond normal wear?

There are several options. You can acquire another copy of the book and return it at the end of the rental period. You can come to the store and pay the difference between the rental and replacement costs and avoid the handling fee. You can do nothing and allow your bursar account to be charged.


I need the textbook for a continuation class. Can I rent it for multiple semesters?

If you are taking a continuation course, purchasing a new or used book is usually the best option. Although you are free to rent (and return) a textbook multiple times, the cost of renting a book for two semesters is generally higher than purchasing the book once.


Is it a better deal to rent a book or to purchase it and then sell it back at Textbook Buyback?

Renting provides a lower up-front cost. In some cases, it can be less expensive to buy a used text (when available) and sell it at buyback. There is always the chance that the text won't be bought back if a newer edition is published or if the professor switches to a different book, so renting ensures some cost savings.


Can someone else return my books for me?

Yes. As long as they know your Net ID, your rental items will be cleared from your account. It is recommended that you return your own books.



Digital Course Materials (eBooks/Access Codes) FAQs

How do I purchase an ebook or digitally delivered access code from The Cornell Store?


In the store -- all ebooks and access codes that are available digitally will display an “ebook” price on our electronic shelf tags. If the book or access code for your course is available digitally, a barcode will print on your book list or display on your mobile device. To purchase take this barcode to a cashier. A redemption code will print out on a receipt that will be given to you. To redeem you product visit cornellstore.redshelf.com and enter the redemption code. The product will then appear in your Redshelf account.


Online -- all ebooks and access codes that are available digitally will display an “ebook” price on our price comparison online booklist. To purchase add this product to your Cornell Store online shopping cart. When you complete your checkout any ebooks or digital access codes that you purchased will be delivered with a redemption code via email. To activate your product visit cornellstore.redshelf.com and enter the redemption code. The product will then appear in your Redshelf account.


Can I use the CornellCard to purchase ebooks and digital access codes from The Cornell Store?

Yes, ebooks and digital access codes can be purchased with the CornellCard if you buy them from The Cornell Store. If you purchase an ebook directly from our affiliate Redshelf or other vendors you will not be able to use your CornellCard.


How do I activate my ebook or digitally delivered access code purchased from The Cornell Store?

Upon purchase of your ebook or digitally delivered access code you will receive a redemption code. If purchased in store it will print on a receipt. If purchased online it will be emailed. To activate and redeem your product visit cornellstore.redshelf.com, and enter your code into the Redeem Code field. This will activate the product on your Redshelf account.


How do we read ebooks purchased from The Cornell Store?

Ebooks that are bought through The Cornell Store are used on the Redshelf eReader. Visit cornellstore.redshelf.com to learn more.


How are the prices for eBooks and Access Cards determined?

Ebook and access code prices are set by the publisher of the product. The Cornell Store has no control over the price of an ebook or access code.


What type of devices can I use for an ebook purchased from The Cornell Store?

The Cornell Store ereader partner Redshelf follows a “Bring Your Own Device” model. Their technology is a HTML5 browser-based ereader; meaning that students can access their materials on any internet-enabled device including tablets, smartphones, desktops, and laptops. Offline access is available, but no downloads are required.


For how long is my ebook valid?

Ebooks sold at The Cornell Store are valid for at least 180 days. Some ebooks may be available for longer. If you desire shorter access the ebook may be available from Redshelf for different durations at cornellstore.redshelf.com.


What is the difference between an ebook and an access code?

Ebooks are the digital version of a book publication. Access codes can be many things including but not limited too: combination of an ebook and software, homework management software, publisher software, etc. Many courses use access codes; many times the access code and software include access to an ebook. In this case, these ebooks will be read through a different ereader than Redshelf. Access codes vary greatly in what they offer; please check with the professor of your course to understand exactly what you will receive with a specific access code.


Who is Redshelf?

Redshelf is a company that focuses on the delivery of etextbooks in a simple and affordable manner. They are a vendor that The Cornell Store has partnered with to offer digital materials to students since 2014. Redshelf provides digital content from the world’s leading academic publishers, consumer trade publishers, self-publishers and a variety of other content creators. They have close partnerships with publishers and college campus stores, such as The Cornell Store. Find out more at redshelf.com


How do I begin reading a Redshelf ebook?

After you have redeemed your redemption code on the cornellstore.redshelf.com site simply login at any point. You will be directed to your “MyShelf” where all redeemed products can be accessed.


Are Redshelf ebooks available without an internet connection?

Yes. The Redshelf eReader offers an offline function where users can select a page range to cache within their browser for when Wi-Fi is not available. The percentage of offline availability is determined by the publisher. This is not a downloadable ebook. To determine if your ebook will allow for offline access, look at the percentage listed on the title details page prior to purchase at Redshelf.com.


Is printing allowed from my Redshelf ebook I purchased at The Cornell Store?

Yes. Redshelf’s eReader offers a printing function where users can select a page range to print. The percentage of the ebook that is available to print is determine by its publisher. Please note: not all eBooks will allow printing.


Is there information on how to use Redshelf eReader online?

Redshelf has many different features built into their eReader. To help answer questions about your Redshelf account, eReader functionality such as highlighting, notes, dictionaries, flash cards, etc. visit https://cornellstore.redshelf.com/faq/


Where can I get help with my RedShelf account?

Call RedShelf’s student help number at 312-878-2628.


Fall 2018 TEXTBOOK & COURSE PACKS RETURN POLICY

Deadlines for the Fall 2018 course materials return policy will be posted soon. The following guidelines apply:


Please present your receipt when returning textbooks.


Textbooks purchased new must be returned in new condition, and wrapped packages must be returned in their original wrapping. Refunds will not be granted for opened access code cards or for course packs that are incomplete or written in or whose shrink wrap has been broken.


Print course materials for dropped courses may be returned within 3 business days of dropping, BUT all refund exceptions listed above apply.


Rental fees may be refunded only within the same guidelines as stated above.


Returns for online orders:


Course materials returns must be postmarked by the applicable return deadline as stated above . All returns must be shipped pre-paid. We recommend using UPS or FedEx over USPS for tracking and delivery confirmation. Returns must be accompanied with a receipt and this completed return form.


If you receive an item damaged during shipment, please contact us immediately at (800) 624-4080. If you received the wrong item, there will be no additional shipping charges when we ship the correct item; however, you will be responsible for paying shipping charges on ALL exchanges.

Textbook Rental Return Policy


Textbook Rental Agreement Terms and Conditions


By renting this textbook, I agree that:


I will return the rented materials to The Cornell Store at 135 Ho Plaza, Ithaca, NY, on or before close of business on the rental return date, Saturday, December 15, 2018 (last day of finals). The Cornell Store is not responsible for reminding me of the rental return date and is not responsible for returns shipped to the store via any carrier.


I am responsible for the condition of the materials rented and bear the full responsibility for the return of the rented materials in salable condition and for payment of fees and replacement costs if rented materials are lost, stolen, or returned in unsalable condition (as determined by The Cornell Store staff). Limited highlighting and writing in rental materials are permitted.


If I fail to return the rented materials by the rental return date, I understand that my bursar account will be charged an unreturned rental fee to cover the cost of a replacement copy of the book.


Replacement of rental materials with an exact replacement copy (correct ISBN, title, author, edition, etc.) in salable condition will be accepted in lieu of any damaged rental materials on or before the rental return date.


I may return the rented materials for a refund within the time frame of and in accordance with The Cornell Store's standard return policies.


I understand that the book rented to me is the property of The Cornell Store.


I am at least 18 years of age, a currently enrolled Cornell University student, and am entering into this agreement of my own free will.


I have read and fully understand the provisions and terms of this agreement and I agree to adhere to all conditions and terms as stated.


Completion of my rental transaction with The Cornell Store constitutes my acceptance of the terms of this agreement.