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About Textbooks:

Textbooks and Digital Course Materials are available for purchase or rental in-store and online at the beginning of each semester. At The Cornell Store you are guaranteed the right books for your courses. In addition to thousands of new books, we stock 25,000 used books that offer you substantial savings!

Textbook Tips

Tips to help you save time and money!

Rent books and save 55%*

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. If your title is not available to rent from us, check our partner, CU Rental Affiliate for thousands of additional titles.

*On average, you'll save more than half the price of a new book when you rent. 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, the ease of dropping off your rental at the end of the term in store.

Buy used books to save $$

We stock 25,000 used books that offer you substantial savings over new books, and because they're here in the store, you can inspect them before buying.

Shop online and compare prices

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.

Order online and pick up in-store

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.

Print your booklist before coming to the store

Rather choose your own books at the store? You'll find your personalized booklist online at Print and bring it with you and you won't have to wait in kiosk lines.

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

Books and CoursePacks in their original condition can be returned within one week from the date of purchase when accompanied by an original receipt. If you drop a class, you can return the textbooks within three days of the drop date with a drop slip. Rental books must be returned by the due date at the end of the semester.

Get cash back during Textbook Sellback

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. See Textbook Sellback.

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 25 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?

Publishers are responsible for most of the costs associated with textbooks. There is no such thing as a "list" price for textbooks. Publishers sell to The Cornell Store at a wholesale price and we set a retail price that allows enough margin to cover our costs to ship and collate the books and help defray other store operation expenses.

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:

  • 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 Sellback;
  • Educating faculty on cost-conscious textbook adoption strategies;
  • Helping faculty produce custom CoursePacks that consolidate academic materials from multiple sources into one more cost-effective product.

How does the Textbook Sellback program work?

Textbook Sellback runs year-around in-store and at the end of each semester at three convenient locations around campus, including in the Store and at many final exam sites. (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 lets 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.

Why is ordering my textbooks from other online merchants risky?

Shipment delays could cause you to fall behind as the semester begins; you may not receive the exact editions specified by your instructors; and potentially lower online prices are often negated by sales tax and shipping and handling charges. Making an exchange or return on an online purchase can also be a hassle.

What is the Textbook Return Policy?

See Textbook Return Policy

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, new rental price and 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, on printed slips in or near the book, 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 returns 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 Sellback 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. (link to rental terms and conditions)

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.

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 Sellback 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.

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 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 a used book and only slightly less than a new one.

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

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 Sellback. 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. Buying a new book and selling it back at Sellback will generally be more expensive than renting.

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.

What is the Textbook Rental Return Policy?

See Textbook Rental Return Policy

Digital Course Materials (eBooks/Access Codes) FAQs

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

InStore; 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 bar-code 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 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 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?

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 There is a field to enter your redemption code. This will now 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 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.

How long is my eBook valid for?

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. Visit the Price Comparison Online Booklist to view different options. If available from the publisher, a student has the option of purchasing lifetime access of the product when the 180 days expire.

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 for their course; 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 Codes.

Who is Redshelf?

Redshelf is a company that focuses on the delivery of eTextbooks in a simpler 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

What are the advantages of a web browser platform to read eBooks, like The Cornell Stores partner Redshelf?

HTML5 provides immediate and seamless updates, improvements , and new feature releases that run on any browser and any device. Users encounter a consistent design and experience across all browsers and devices, allowing them to focus on absorbing the content instead of learning the platform. Having a web-based eReader you can access the materials by simply logining from any of your devices.

How do I begin reading a Redshelf eBook?

After you have redeemed your redemption code on the 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, ook at the percentage listed on the title details page prior to purchase at

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 the 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, dictionarys, flash cards, etc. visit

Textbook Return Policy

Please note for eligible returns: refunds will be offered in the original method of payment only. 

All returns must be resalable and be accompanied with the correct receipt.

Summer 2016 Textbooks & Course Packs

  • Must be returned within THREE DAYS from the date of purchase.


  • All packages must be complete with no missing components.
  • All packages containing software or digital access codes cannot be returned once opened
  • All textbooks may be returned within 3 days of the date you drop a course.
  • Course packs cannot be returned if shrink-wrap is open or packet is incomplete or written in.
  • New textbooks that are written in or shelf-worn will be returned at the USED price.
  • *JGSM Returns Only: Books purchased for second half JGSM courses may be returned within 3 days.

Fall 2016 Textbooks & Course Packs

Print Textbooks & Packages:

If purchased on or before 8/16/16:

  • Must be returned/shipped within SEVEN DAYS from receipt of order.
  • If in-store pick-up return by 8/23/16.

If purchased 8/17/16 – 10/18/16

  • Must be returned within SEVEN DAYS from the date of purchase; if last day is prior to 10/18/16.

If purchased on or after 10/19/2016:

  • No textbook or course pack returns will be accepted.*

Digital Access Codes:

    • Must be returned within SEVEN DAYS from receipt of order.
    • Cannot be returned if more than 10% of the product has been read or accessed.
    • Cannot be returned if any pages of the book have been printed.
    • Cannot be returned outside of the 7-day return policy for dropped courses.

Please Note:

  • Overstock textbooks will start being returned to publishers beginning November 1st, 2016.


  • All packages must be complete with no missing components.
  • All packages containing software or digital access codes cannot be returned once opened.
  • All print textbooks may be returned within THREE days of the date you drop a course. Digital textbooks cannot be returned outside of the 7-day return policy.
  • Course packs cannot be returned if shrink-wrap is open or packet is incomplete or written in.
  • New textbooks that are written in or shelf-worn will be returned at the USED price.

*JGSM Returns Only: Books purchased after October 10th for second half JGSM courses may be returned within THREE days.

Online Textbook Orders

For online orders requesting in-store pick-up, you will receive two emails, one when the order is placed. 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 secondary email.

Returns for online orders:

Returns must be received within 30 days from the date you receive your order. 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.

View the list of non-returnable items below. 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.

Special Holiday Returns Policy: Purchases made beginning mid-November may be returned at any time through the end of January.

Return without receipt:

We do not retain purchase history linked to credit card information. If you need a receipt for a past in-store transaction, visit: Manage My Profile. If you provided a Cornell ID or Net ID at the time of purchase, you will see a listing of all past store transactions. If you have any questions, please see Store Services in the store.

Return after 30 or (7) days:

Products are not returnable after 30 days for general merchandise and general books or 7 days for computer or electronic products.

Return within time limit, opened package:

A 20% handling fee will be applied provided product is in new condition with ALL packaging materials, tags, etc. Credit will be given on a Cornell Store Gift Card. Defective products will be exchanged for the same item only.


Non-returnable Items

  • Merchandise in non-resalable condition
  • Items without packaging
  • Cosmetics or personal care items
  • Opened CDs, DVDs, audio books, or other items that include CDs, DVDs, or audio books
  • Opened calculators,  ink cartridges, media and some software
  • Washed, worn or soiled clothing. Clothing must have ALL original tags still attached.
  • Custom-cut Art Department items
  • Cornell chairs
  • Magazines

Computer and Technology Return Policy

All hardware and software returns must be inspected by Technology Connection staff prior to a refund being issued.

Computer hardware and software may be returned within 7 calendar days from the date of purchase under the following conditions, other exclusions may apply:

  • All returns must be accompanied by the correct receipt.
  • Unopened stock hardware and software may be returned within 7 calendar days from the date of purchase for a full refund.
  • Opened Apple products cannot be returned.
  • Most opened hardware may be returned within 7 calendar days from the date of purchase provided it is undamaged, includes all packaging materials, and is in resalable condition. A 20% restocking fee will apply on all opened returned items.
  • Opened software CANNOT be returned for a refund. Opened software may be exchanged for the same title within 7 calendar days from the date of purchase if found to be damaged or defective.
  • Most special order software may be returned within 7 calendar days from the date of purchase with a 20% restocking fee.
  • Software licensing products CANNOT be returned.
  • Discontinued, clearance or sale hardware and software CANNOT be returned or exchanged.
  • Custom configured computer hardware CANNOT be returned or exchanged.


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, December 15, 2016 (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.

©  The Cornell Store | A self-funded enterprise operated by Cornell University. Purchases directly support university programs.