Store FAQs


Q: Are you open? What are your hours?

A: We are now open for book sales at our front door, and for prepaid pick up, from 1 - 6 PM, Tuesday - Saturday. We are not open for in-store browsing at this time.

Q: How can I order a book to pick up?

A: You can place an order on our website, 24/7, at Explore the site for new and recommended titles and use the search bar on the top of the home page to look for titles you are interested in.  You can call us at 510-704-8222 or email to request and pay for books or ask a question.

Q: How do I claim my books when they’re ready?

Contactless pick up at our front door is available from 1 - 6 PM, Tuesday - Saturday.

You can also request free home delivery in the “order comments” field when checking out online. We are doing our best to deliver books within a three mile radius of the store. Please note that in most cases we will wait until an order is 100% complete before delivering. The in-store pick up option will generally be a faster way to claim your books - for larger orders, we’ll update you as your books are available to pick up, instead of waiting to have everything together.

And, if you’d prefer, we can still ship books to your door via Media or Priority Mail.

Q: If I place an order online, how long will it be until my order is ready?

A: Turnaround time will totally depend on the book(s) you’re looking for. If we have the book you want on our shelves, we can fulfill it right away, almost always within 24 hours. If we need to order your book, we can very often get it for you from our wholesaler within two business days. In some cases, we will have to order books from the publisher, and these orders can take a week to two weeks to complete. We are working with a smaller staff than we’re used to, receiving fewer deliveries than we used to, and books are taking longer to reach us from publishers than they did in pre-Covid times. In short, nothing is the same as it was. For web orders, we will notify you by email, usually within 24 hours, explaining the status of your order. And we thank you for your patience while we work to get your books for you!

Q: Can I inquire about the availability of books before placing an order?

A: Please do! We encourage folks to speak with a bookseller before placing an order, especially if you need a book quickly or by a certain date - we can give you an estimate of how long an order would take. Call us at 510-704-8222 or email us at

Q: I’m not sure what I want to read next... Do you still offer recommendations?

A: Yes! We do indeed, and our staff is still reading lots of great recently published and forthcoming books. We ask when possible that requests for recommendations be submitted by email to We’ll put our heads together (while of course remaining 6 feet apart) and reply with some excellent options. We can also forward emails on to the staff member who can best recommend a page-turning mystery, a wonderful new childrens’ book, etc., even if these staff aren’t present in the store. We do also feature new books and titles we’ve enjoyed in our now weekly newsletter, which you can sign up for here. We’re able to provide recommendations by phone and in-person, as well,  but you’ll get a more thorough and thoughtful reply if you submit your request by email.

Q: Do you sell gift cards? Can I use them to check out online?

A: Yes and yes! You can buy gift cards for any denomination on our website, or by speaking with a bookseller. Our gift cards are high quality, hand-written certificates, so in most cases we mail them to their recipient, free of charge. Gift cards can also be picked up at the store, as well.

Our gift cards can be used to shop on our website - look for the “store gift card” option when checking out (near the credit card insignias) and enter your gift card number. If your order comes to less than the amount on your gift card, it will be processed right away and you’ll receive an email from a bookseller letting you know when your books are ready, and the remaining balance on your gift card. If your order costs more than the amount on your gift card, a bookseller will contact you about the difference - we can take a credit card over the phone, or send you an email invoice. (Regrettably, gift cards have to be looked up by a bookseller - our website won’t immediately prompt you to pay the difference if your order costs more than the amount on your gift card).

Q: Do you still sell non-book merchandise?

A: We do! Call us to see what we have. We have lots of Bonnie’s Jams, tea, candles, tea towels, vases, garden tools, seeds and puzzles for grownups and kids!

Q: Are you still producing events, either online or in store?

A: We will be offering the occasional virtual event until it is safe to resume in-store programming; sign up for our store newsletter for updates. Our small crew remains primarily concerned with promptly, safely fulfilling orders and keeping an up to date inventory.

Q: What’s the best thing I can do to support the store right now?

A: Do what you’ve been doing! Keep those orders coming - we are so grateful for the many, many orders placed online and by phone since we had to close our doors for browsing in March.

It’s your continued support (and your patience) that will allow us to weather this difficult time and again be able to offer all the great services we’ve been so happy to provide for these last 15 years. Please stay healthy and safe, and thank you for all the support.