Pile of books

The Cheap Book Search – What Are Hurt Books?

Thanks to the internet and websites like TextbookRush.com, finding cheap books or discounted textbooks can be pretty easy these days. One simple title or ISBN search could find you in a sea of low-priced copies of any book you’re looking for. Unfortunately, it’s not the price, but the description that sometimes stops us from throwing the book in our cart, checking out and strutting our cheap textbook strut straight out of the room.

Just when you’re about to add that wonderful twenty-five-dollar textbook or a really important five-dollar copy of “Thank You and You’re Welcome” (Kanye West’s book of “Kanye-isms” and philosophies) you see it. Ugh. There they are. Glaring back at you in their basic little Times New Roman font. The words “hurt book”. So wait, what does that mean? Is your book going to be okay? How hurt is it?? Like seriously injured and missing some of its parts kind of hurt?

Fear not frugal shopper. Your book is going to be okay. A “hurt” book is used to describe books that have been damaged in shipping during their transportation to customers or book sale websites – whose injuries typically consist of scratches, dings, corner dents and fading. With minor bruising like this, one simply does not toss a hurt book into the garbage. When customers return these damaged goods or when the online bookstore receives a batch of hurt books from a distributer, they will likely resell the book at a discounted price. One person’s trash is another person’s heavily discounted treasure, after all.

So should you purchase a hurt book? Go for it. You’ll find tons of cheap textbooks and cheap books described in this condition and if you can get past some small imperfections, you could end up paying less than half the original cover price for these books. A hurt book isn’t going to show up at your door with its font printed on backwards, it doesn’t mean that a block of chapters has been removed or the entire last page was crossed out with a black sharpie (lol). To describe a book as “hurt” the cosmetic damage should only be minor and in many cases they are in near excellent condition.

About the author

Phil Smyres
CEO and Founder of TextbookRush.com
I graduated from Ohio State University, and I’ve been in Columbus, OH ever since. In 1994, I started buying and selling books on campus with two brick and mortar stores. Those stores have since closed but TextbookRush.com has remained a premier online retailer for all your textbook needs. During this time, we’ve also added two additional online retailers, Bookstores.com and K12BookServices.com.

My interests include spending time with my family, traveling everywhere and watching Ohio State football.