Yes, it will read the ISBN barcode on the book. I've used this scanner at the local high school when book inventory time rolls around. You have to be careful scanning the ISBN. If you scan in Excel you must format the cells to be TEXT. At the high school we use MS Word, Wordpad and Notepad to take book inventory. If you are going to scan the ISBN number on the book, make sure that you cover the side barcode since it is NOT part of the ISBN.