Loose Leaf Textbook: What Is It?

The following information might be extremely useful for students who are willing to get back some money they have spent on their college textbooks. You probably already know that many textbooks are currently sold in a loose leaf, or "binder ready" format (which is also sometimes called a la Carte since they may be printed on demand by the publisher).

If a book is a loose leaf, this means that it does not have a traditional binding like a hardcover or a paperback: basically, a loose leaf edition is just a stack of pages which may be three-hole-punched so that they could be held together by a binder. 

Loose leaf editions have their advantages and disadvantages comparing to other editions, and you might want to consider them before purchasing such book:


1. They are usually cheaper than hardcovers, and no wonder: a simple stack of paper is much easier to produce.

2. You can take out one chapter and bring it with you: no need to carry a whole thousand-page volume everywhere.


1. Many a la Carte editions cannot be sold back since they do not have their own ISBN, or there is low demand for used loose leaf books in general.

2. You can damage or misplace pages of a loose leaf textbook much easier than when dealing with a regular book.

3. Pages may be not coated for durability.

4. It would not look nice on your shelf after you finish the course if you plan on keeping your textbooks.

It is generally up to you: whether you plan on buying an expensive hardcover and attempting to sell it back later, or purchasing a loose leaf version which might not be eligible for sellback afterwards. However, in some cases, they can still be sold on BooksRun.com: go and check your books now!

Before you sell back your loose leaf book:

Happy selling!

Updated on June 18th, 2019