A winter sunset in DeKalb, Illinois, home of NIU (Photo by Doug Bowman)

Northern Illinois University (NIU) is a large state university based in DeKalb, Illinois. Founded in 1895, NIU currently has an annual enrollment of over 25,000 students. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Huskies and compete in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). When it comes to buying textbooks, NIU students have some options on where to shop. The following stores are the best places to look for textbooks:

The NIU Bookstore at 340 Carroll Avenue inside the Holmes Student Center is the official Northern Illinois textbook supplier. The staff at this store is in direct contact with the university’s professors, meaning students will know exactly which books and editions they need for their classes. They sell new and used textbooks, study aids, course packs, reference books, bestsellers, and have a collection of bargain books, Plus they have educational discounts for students on computer software along with various Apple products. A line of Huskies apparel is for sale here, too, giving students the school spirit items they need to support university athletics. You can also rent many of the textbooks and save big that way.

Village Common Bookstore
is a great off-campus option for textbooks. Located at 901 Lucinda Avenue in downtown DeKalb, VCB offers plenty of used books (called “thrift editions”) along with textbooks rentals. Buying used and renting are big money-savers. Additionally, you will find new books at reasonable prices as well as study aids and other test prep books to help you study for your classes or prepare for standardized tests that are required for certain academic programs. VCB also sells Huskies gear, graduation items, school supplies, and plenty more. They occasionally do cool contests for students, including a recent t-shirt design contest. They have extended hours of operation at peak times to give students an opportunity to shop on their schedule.

The always-reliable Barnes & Noble has a location convenient for NIU students in downtown DeKalb. It’s at 2439 Sycamore Road in the Oakland Place Shopping Center. Open seven days a week, the store is open until 10 p.m. most nights, giving students a chance to get what they need before the day is done. B&N sells lots of academic books and also offers the handy Nook e-reader. This device, which is reasonably priced, allows students to read their digital textbooks wherever they are. The great thing about this store is that you can purchase most of its inventory online, in addition to lots of other books that you won’t find on the shelves.