Required and optional textbooks are selected by instructors and stocked by The College Store, which is owned and operated by the Colleges. Used books are carried whenever possible and save you 25 percent of the new-book price.

Bring your class schedule printout to locate texts. Books are shelved alpha/numeric by Course and Section. Each title has a shelf card indicating Course, Section, Instructor, Title, Author, Edition and other helpful book information, including whether the textbook is required or recommended. Bookstore staff are always available to assist you in your textbook selection process. The College Store buys used books from students at the end of each semester and that is the best time to sell your books – when up to 50 percent of the new price is paid for titles needed on campus the following semester.

Prices of the books are set by the publisher. Students should be prepared to spend an average of $200 to $300 per course on books. There are some exceptions, but this is a good rule of thumb to follow when planning textbook buying. Used books are available and are placed on the shelf with the new books: first-come, first-served.

Always keep your receipt! College Store employees are not permitted to give a refund without it.

Textbook Refund Policy

Textbooks are accepted for returns within the first week of the semester for which they were purchased. The sales receipt and textbook is required for a refund. New textbooks must be returned in new condition. That is, free of marks and/or highlighting, scratched covers, and torn pages. Textbooks sold in shrink wrap MUST be returned with shrink wrap intact. Reprints are not returnable. The College Store reserves the right to refuse a refund, or exchange, based on non-compliance with this policy and/or condition of the merchandise.

General Books

The College Store has two book departments: textbooks and general books. Our general book area supports the academic community with over 15,000 popular and scholarly titles, including reference works, exam preparation and study guides, audio books, publications by members of our faculty and by alumni of Hobart College and alumnae of William Smith College, and much more. Literature, new releases, and bargain books are other strong sections just waiting for your exploration!


  • Special orders
  • Expedient title availability search


Materials for both office and classroom are stocked, including fine art supplies and equipment for drafting and engineering. You may order special items from our catalogues with quick delivery.

Insignia Items

The insignias of Hobart and William Smith Colleges (reserved for use by the Colleges or by licensed parties) are featured in our ever changing line of clothing, glassware and gifts. Other items in the gift and greeting card department are unique toys, stationery, and whimsical gadgets. Stop in and shop just for fun!

Other Services

Check cashing
Quarters for vending machines
Dry Cleaning


Q.  Where may students buy textbooks for their courses?
A.  The College Store, 51 St. Clair St, is institutionally owned and operated, and stocks necessary textbooks and additional course related materials. The College Store also maintains a 15,000 title general book department. Convenience items such as basic school and art supplies, stationery, gifts, and snack items are also stocked. All funds derived from bookstore business are used to fund and/or support various campus activities and improvements.

Q.  Is it possible for students to purchase used textbooks?
A.  Yes. The College Store makes every effort to provide as many used copies of a textbook as possible. Used books are sold at a savings of 25% and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Q.  Is there an opportunity for students to sell their textbooks back to The College Store?
A.  Yes. Used textbook buybacks are offered at the end of each semester. The bookstore acts as an agent for a national wholesaler and conducts the end of semester textbook buyback. Used textbook buybacks offer students an opportunity to sell textbooks that they will not be retaining for personal libraries or no longer need for course work. Prices for used textbooks are determined by anticipated store need and/or national demand. The College Store pays 50% of the retail price for textbooks it needs for the upcoming semester. The wholesale company establishes prices to be paid for textbooks not needed by The College Store if a national demand exists for that textbook.

Q.  Is it possible for a student to charge purchases at The College Store?
A.  Yes. The College Store accepts Visa, MasterCard and HWS OneCard.


College Store

Visit the College Store's textbook page.



Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.