Dear Bookstore Family,
What a year we have had! Through all of it, we have been incredibly grateful for the support you, the community, have shown us. You all have been very busy reading, putting together puzzles, writing in journals, and sending cards to your loved ones. We are so proud to be a part of such a literary community.
Below is a compilation of our most Frequently Asked Questions and their answers. Check back here for future updates, or contact us with a question you think we should add.
Much love, the Water Street Bookstore Staff
What are your store hours?
Monday - Friday 9:00 am- 8:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am- 6:00 pm, and Sunday 10:00 am- 5:00 pm.
Can I still do a curbside pick up of a phone or web order?
Of course! Just call us when you get here and we are happy to place it outside in the marked red crate.
What is your current mask policy?
We are happy that the CDC is updating their COVID-19 guidelines in line with emerging science and are glad that our vaccinated community members will be able to gather without masks. However, since the new guidelines only pertain to those who are vaccinated, and because we don’t want to be in the business of checking vaccine cards, we will continue to require masks in the shop. We want everyone in our community to be able to shop equally and safely! We appreciate your support
What is a Water Street Bookstore membership and how does it work?
Our membership consists of a one time fee of $20. Then, you and your household are members for life. Benefits of membership include:
20% of select hardcover books and all signed books, as well as access to our annual member sale in November. Select hardcovers can be identified by the sticker on the cover, are chosen by the store, and are typically new books we have received recently.
During our 3 day member sale, all items are 20% off, with the exception of our cards.
A book is not where I expected in the store. What do I do now?
Please ask us! We have many sections, including displays of new and notable books and staff recommendations. We can let you know if your book is in stock and help you locate it.
You don’t have the book I want. Can you get it for me?
We are always happy to locate books for you! Whenever we do not have a title you need on our shelves, typically we are able to place an order with our main distributor.
We send these orders 5 days a week, Monday- Friday, at noon. Depending on the availability of the title and the distance of the warehouse, it can take as few as one business day to receive your book in our store.
All orders are shipped to our store and received by our staff first. We will notify you for pick up or will ship/ deliver to you as quickly as possible.
I ordered a book from you a while ago. Why hasn’t it come in?
This can happen, and we completely understand it is very frustrating. But, reasons vary wildly. COVID-19 has severely disrupted publishing runs, warehouse staffing and shipping speeds across the country. Call us and we will talk out what is happening in your specific order to the best of our knowledge. Please know, we want you to have your books and are doing our very best.
How long will you hold my orders?
We will hold all speculative orders for at least six weeks. After six weeks, we may reshelve the books due to limited space.
We will hold prepaid books indefinitely; however, after twelve weeks, we may place the books in storage. Again, this is due to our space limitations.
I ordered an in-stock book on your website. When can I pick it up?
We are working actively to reduce our turnaround time on web orders for in-stock books. We will check our web orders seven days a week and fill as quickly as possible. The email that confirms your order should indicate whether we were able to fill it with an in stock book or if we had to order your book.
Your website says you have the book on hand. Why isn’t it on your shelf? or Why did you need to place an order for the book?
The most common reason this happens is because the copies we have on hand have been placed on speculative hold for another customer and are not currently available. And, on occasion, it is because the book has been lost. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
I called the store and left a voicemail, or I emailed you a question. When can I expect a response?
We receive a large volume of email and voicemails from many different sources, and, therefore, they are inefficient means of contacting us. Please call us during business hours and one of our booksellers will be happy to answer your question or connect you with the right person.
Do you gift wrap all year, and is it free?
Yes, we offer free gift wrapping all year. Just ask when you are checking out and we will offer you a choice of high quality wrapping paper.
Do you sell electronic copies of books?
We partner with Kobo to provide our customers with electronic copies of books. You can purchase a Kobo reader from their website or use your existing computers, tablets or phones by downloading their app. You can sign up for a Kobo membership through us or see more information here.
Do you sell audio books?
We partner with Libro.fm to provide our customers with downloadable audio files of books. Please see more information here. We also offer a limited selection of books on CD, and we can order specific ones in at your request.
When are you doing in-person events in the store again?
We just do not know yet! We can assure you that when it is safe we will be having events and advertising them prominently. Sign up for our newsletter and you will be among the first to know!