Frequently Asked Questions

Online Orders

When will my order be ready?
We do our best to process all orders for books that are currently on our shelves for pickup the next business day. We will send you an email when your books are ready to be picked up. Pickup orders will be wrapped with your name on it on the pickup shelf outside our main entrance from 9am to 6pm Monday through Wednesday, 9am to 9pm Thursday and Friday, 9am to 6pm Saturday, and 11am to 4pm Sunday. If the weather is iffy, the pickup bench will be inside the accessible entrance to the right of our main entrance.

What does it mean when a book is "Available for pickup/shipping in 3-7 days"?
When you see a book with this status, it indicates that while we don't have it on our shelves at the moment, it is either on the way, or currently available at one of our wholesalers' warehouses, so we can get it in for you relatively quickly. If you are looking for a book to read immediately, look for books that say "On Our Shelves Now."

I placed an order to be shipped. How long will it take to receive my order?
At the best of times, that can vary widely depending on your location, where the order is shipping from, and your shipping method. During the pandemic, shipping times have been difficult to predict. For orders shipping from the store to the Upper Valley, expect 1-3 business days. For orders shipping from a warehouse, expect 5-7 business days for Ground Shipping, and 7-12 business days for Media Mail.

If you have not received your order within two weeks for ground shipping or three weeks for media mail, please send us an email at and we will look into the status. 

What does it mean if a book is designated “Special Order Only”?
This book is out of stock at the store and our wholesaler’s warehouses, but we still might be able to get it for you! Email us at with the ISBN or title of the book, and we will reach out to the publisher to find out if we can put it on order. In some cases, a book might be backordered both with our wholesaler and with the publisher. In this case, you have the option of placing a backorder for if/when we can get the book in. We will provide you with an estimated date when possible. Finally, there’s a handful of small presses with whom we don’t have an account set up and are unable to purchase books from. In this case, we suggest you order directly from the publisher, or from another independent bookstore. Depending on the title, please allow 7-12 business days for special orders.

Why can’t I find a book on your site? I know it exists!
Our search function can be finicky and lacks fuzzy search capabilities. For instance, a search for ‘common wealth’ won’t get you to Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth.  Double check your spelling or try another search term, like ‘patchett.’

If all fails, locate the ISBN elsewhere—the fastest way is to Google your book’s title plus ‘ISBN’—and copy and paste it into the search bar.

Occasionally, a book will not show up on our website, usually because it is no longer in print. We recommend checking with our neighbors Left Bank Books or heading to for popular out-of-print titles.

Gift Cards

How do I use a gift card on the website?
During checkout, you will have the option of entering a gift card number. You can find the number on your physical gift card beneath the barcode. Gift card numbers begin with: S 100… 

Please note, you will still be prompted to enter a credit card number. Your credit card will be authorized for the total amount, but will only be charged for the balance after the gift card is applied. 

I entered a gift card but my credit card was still charged the full amount! What happened?
Because of the way our gift cards, point of sale system, and website are set up, we don’t have a way of integrating them, so applying a gift card to your order is a manual process. Occasionally, we make a mistake. Sorry about that! Reversing the issue is simple—we’ll issue you a refund for the amount on the gift card and remove the funds from the gift card. Email us at and we’ll get it taken care of ASAP.

Can I purchase an e-gift card instead of a physical gift card?
At the moment, no. We are looking at possible gift card systems that allow interchangeable e-cards and physical cards. Currently, we are sticking with physical gift cards only to avoid confusion over how to purchase and use gift cards.