Textbooks and Course Materials Information for Students

You can quickly search, browse and shop for all your NIU essentials right through Blackboard. Just login and launch Follett Discover. You can watch this video online for information on how to use Follett Discover to purchase or rent your course materials.

Books are available throughout the term/semester. We accept multiple payment methods including financial aid via OneCard and offer easy return policies aligned with add/drop class dates.

Follett Higher Education – an established, nationally recognized leader in the college textbook industry - manages Huskie Books and Gear in the Holmes Student Center.

Digital and Rental Textbooks

To keep prices as low as possible, we offer a robust selection of digital and rental books that help offset the costs of new textbooks.

  • Rental books cost on average about 55 percent less than the price of new book prices; often, the discounts go as high as 80 percent off.
  • You get a risk-free rental policy that allows highlighting, taking notes and the ability to easily convert a rental to a purchase should you decide to keep it.
  • Digital books cost 50 to 60 percent less than new books, on average.

Price-match Program

We also offer a price-match program at our campus store for course materials, including used books, with Amazon and Barnes and Noble online stores. The difference in price is provided on a store gift card that can then be used toward other course material or supply purchases.

Note: we do not price match online marketplace prices, such as Chegg, Amazon Prime and Amazon warehouse deals.

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t know what books to get when?

For best service levels, order your course materials as soon as you see them posted on the Huskie Books and Gear online store. You can shop for materials one of two ways. If you enter your student ID number, preceded by a zero, the list of materials needed for all your classes will populate. Simply add them to your shopping cart for purchase. You can also shop for materials by course by entering your course information into the dropdown boxes that appear on the website. 

If you have financial aid or a scholarship, you can use your OneCard ID to charge the cost of your books and school supplies to your bursar account.

I am doing all remote this semester. Should I purchase any textbooks listed for the class before the class starts or should I wait until the class starts? My worry is that I'll wait too late and my books will take too long to ship to my house.

Professors generally expect you to have your course materials on the first day of class. Look for communication from your professor to learn about the required textbooks for class and refer to the syllabus posted by your professors. Many professors look for cost-effective options for students, so you should wait until the professor posts the syllabus via e-mail or Blackboard with the indicated required textbooks. Some professors provide electronic copies of readings or they require students to buy the physical copy.

It says to pick one of the two textbooks, but I don’t know which to one to pick?

When there is a choice, it means all of the options are acceptable to use for the class. Usually, there is a variance in the format of the materials.

  • Physical textbook. This is the traditional book, which could be hardbound/softcover or loose-leaf.
  • Digital textbook. Sent to you by email. It contains a link and access code to access online materials.
  • Access card. Thin four-color cardboard, usually 5-by-7 inches in size.

Contains directions on how to access your materials online Choose the format that fits your learning style. Sometimes there is a choice of two physical books. This means you have a choice between a hardbound book, softcover book or loose-leaf book. The loose-leaf book means the material has loose pages that are three-hole-punched and will fit in a binder. If this is the case, choose the option that best fits your budget.

How can I find affordable textbooks?

Did you know that students who are utilizing financial aid can charge up to $700 in textbooks and school supplies to their bursar account? See the OneCard website for the book charge dates each semester.