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Coursebook FAQ

When and where are reading lists available for my classes?

Lists of required and recommended books are available two weeks prior to the start of fall or spring classes. You can access the reading list through Course Offerings or on Blackboard.

If you are an incoming freshman, the best time to buy your course books will be after you have completed advising and registration during orientation in September. The deans recommend that you wait to buy course books until you get to campus. There will be ample time to do this once you are here.

Am I eligible for the 30% coursebook discount program?

All full-time degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students at Princeton University are eligible for a 30% discount on all coursebook purchases at Labyrinth, the University's bookstore. You are not eligible during semesters when you are studying abroad. If you have further questions about your eligibility or enrollment status, please contact the Registrar.

Do I have to pay sales tax on coursebooks?

All course materials, including required and recommended coursebooks, are tax-exempt when you buy from Labyrinth Books. In New Jersey, that means you save 7%!

How can I pay for my books?

If you order your books through Blackboard, you can choose to pay with your Student Charge account or with Paw Points. Your order will then be packaged and you'll receive an email letting you know when the order is ready for you to pick up at the designated express pickup area downstairs at Labyrinth.

If you come to our coursebook counter to select your books, you can choose to pay in-store with any major credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover card), cash, personal check, traveler's check, or your Student Charge account or Paw Points.

How does the new rental program work?

Many of the more expensive coursebooks are now available to rent. You can reserve rentals on Blackboard or in-store.

To reserve a rental in store: come to Labyrinth Books during regular business hours, and a staff member will walk you through the simple process. You will need your Student ID to create an account; you can then use any payment method to cover the rental cost.

To reserve a rental online: On the Blackboard reading list for your course, if a book is available to rent you will see the rental price right below the purchase price. Add rentals to your Book Bag just like purchases. When you check out, you will receive one confirmation email for any books you have purchased, and a separate confirmation email for any rentals. You'll then receive an "Order Ready" email when your rentals are ready for pick up.

Still have questions? View our complete rental policy and more detailed information.

Can I write in or highlight books that I've rented from Labyrinth?

Minimal highlighting and writing is allowed. Books must be returned in good condition and free of excessive damage. Excessive damage is defined as any damage that would prevent another student from reasonably being able to use and gain the full learning value from the textbook: water damage, stains, mold, missing covers, missing pages, destroyed text on pages, etc.

When must I return books I've rented from Labyrinth Books?

All rentals must be returned to Labyrinth by 6pm on the final day of examinations for the term in which they were rented. Due dates for upcoming semesters:
Fall 2016 semester: Saturday, January 28
Spring 2017 semester: Saturday, May 27
Fall 2017 semester: Saturday, January 27
Spring 2018 semester: Saturday, May 26
Dates are subject to change. Academic calendars can be found on the Registrar's website.

I dropped a class — can I get a refund for the book(s) I bought or rented?

Books are only eligible for return if they are in the same condition as when you bought or rented them, and you MUST have your student ID and original receipt. Our return policy for coursebook purchases and rentals is as follows:

Purchased Books Rented Books
Before the add-drop deadline (The two weeks before classes start, and the first two weeks of the term) May be returned for a full refund in kind In order to have a refund applied to a credit card you must bring the card in addition to your ID and receipt. May be returned for a full refund in kind In order to have a refund applied to a credit card you must bring the card in addition to your ID and receipt.
After the add-drop deadline but before mid-term break May be returned for store credit in the full amount of the original purchase. N/A
After the start of the mid-term break No returns accepted, however Labyrinth will offer to purchase books under the terms of the Guaranteed Buyback Program (see details). N/A

My professor says I need books for this class, but there is no reading list posted in Blackboard. What can I do?

Only materials that have been officially adopted for use in a course will be eligible for the 30% discount at Labyrinth. If you think there should be materials for your course but can't find them at Labyrinth, please ask to speak with a coursebook manager or send an email to and be sure to include the course code for the class (any information about the books you think you'll need is helpful, too). Labyrinth will then get in contact with your professor to request a reading list.

How will I know when the coursebook order I placed through Blackboard is ready to be picked up?

You'll receive an email from Labyrinth letting you know that there are books ready to be picked up. If you have not received an "Order Ready" email and more than 24 hours have passed since you received email confirmation of your order, please call 609-497-1600 x258 with your five-digit order number or student ID number handy, or write to

My Blackboard book order is ready — can a friend pick up my books for me? Does Labyrinth deliver?

You need to be physically present to pick up your Blackboard order, since you must show your student ID. Currently there are no campus deliveries.

I got an email saying one of my books is "On Order." What does that mean?

If one or more books in your order is currently out of stock but additional copies are already en route to us, your confirmation email will indicate that the book is "On Order." When the books arrive at the store, Labyrinth will set aside your copy and you'll then receive a separate "Order Ready" email to let you know the book(s) are ready for pickup. Your account will not be charged for any "On Order" books until they arrive in the store.

What does it mean if the Blackboard reading list says that a book I want is "Available to special order"?

Books marked "Available to special order" are not currently in stock or en route, but Labyrinth will gladly order a copy for you upon request. When you check out with a special order book in your book bag, you'll receive a separate email giving the time frame for ordering the book. Because the arrival times for special order books can vary widely, you MUST respond to this email to confirm that the quoted time frame will work for you before we will place your order.

What is the Guaranteed Buyback Program at Labyrinth Books?

Labyrinth Books guarantees to buy back any coursebooks purchased at the bookstore during the current academic year, with only a few exceptions, as long as you have your original receipt and keep your books in the same condition as when you purchased them. Labyrinth will offer to pay 25% of the list price for books that were purchased new, and 20% of the list price for used books. This means that after buybacks, your total savings amounts to 55% off list price on new books, and 67.5% off list price for used books.

See our Buyback Policy for more information.

I have a question about coursebooks that has not been answered above — who can I ask?

Please feel free to send any questions or concerns regarding coursebooks to, and a Labyrinth staff member will respond as soon as possible.

Professors & Administrators

Instructions for coursebook ordering for your class

Info about your free Labyrinth membership: 15% off

Store Hours

Spring 2018 Start of Semester Extended Hours Mon 2/5/18: 9am — 9pm
Tue 2/6/18: 9am — 9pm

Regular Hours M - F: 9am – 8pm
Sat: 10am – 6pm
Sun: 11am – 6pm

Current buyback hours


Read our FAQs

Phone Help 609-497-1600 x228 - Student Orders
x224 - Prof & Admin assistance
x258 - Buyback questions

Email Help

Online orders:
General inquiries:

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