Ordering FAQs

This page was last updated on July 13th, 2020. The information and policies outlined below are subject to change, and may not be applicable in all cases.

If you need assistance or if you have questions about our online orders that are not answered below, you can call us at 617-566-6660 or email orders@brooklinebooksmith.com.

Store Hours:

  • Tuesday-Saturday: 10am until 6pm
  • Sunday: 12pm until 5pm
  • Monday: CLOSED

Note: These hours go into effect on July 14th, 2020. Due to the evolving COVID-19 crisis, our hours are subject to change.

Curbside pick-up currently takes place two doors down from our main store, at 283 Harvard Street, in our new annex. We have had plans to expand into this space (formerly the Coolidge Corner Verizon store) since the beginning of the year, and the additional space allows for greater social distancing and safety as we reopen the main store for browsing.

We strongly urge you to call the store at 617-566-6660 if you need to confirm that a book is in stock, or if you need it urgently. Please do so before you place your order online.

Please read all instructions on our website and the emails we send you about your order. These contain important information about your order and about our updated policies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is Brookline Booksmith open for business?
A: Yes! We are open for browsing and phone assistance Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and on Sundays from 12pm to 5pm. We are currently closed on Mondays. We are also open 24/7 right here on our website for online orders.

Q: How long will it take you to process my online order?
A: As of May 25th, we have switched back to fulfilling orders from our store in Brookline. There will be delays while we get back up to speed. Under ideal conditions, we aim to process all orders within 24 hours, but we are currently about 1-2 business days behind.

Please Note: If your order includes book(s) that are not in stock, it will take additional time for your book(s) to be shipped to the store and processed.

Q: How can I tell if a book is in stock?
A: Each item on our website has an "Availability" listed. If it says "On Our Shelves Now," we likely have a copy.

  • Please Note: Our website inventory is not updated in real time. Books may be listed as available when they are sold out in the store. The website also does not reflect copies that are on hold for other customers. If you want to double-check a book's availability before you place your order, please call the store at 617-566-6660.

Q: If a book I ordered is out of stock, how long will it take Brookline Booksmith to get it?
A: Typically, out-of-stock titles arrive at the store within 2-5 business days. However, due to the pandemic and cuts to critical USPS services, we have seen delays across the board. We cannot guarantee specific delivery dates.

Q: Can I pick up my order at the store?
A: Yes. Curbside pick-up is available at 283 Harvard Street, two doors down from the main store, when the store is open. (See above for hours.) All curbside pick-up orders must be paid for in advance either online or over the phone. You will receive a notification email confirming that your order is ready for pickup if you order online. Please make sure you have received and read that email before coming to the store.

  • Important Notice: For the health and safety of everyone involved, all customers must wear a face mask that covers both the nose and the mouth, you must follow social distancing protocols, and you must follow instructions from Brookline Booksmith staff during curbside pick-up. 

Q: Are you still offering local delivery?
A: No, we are not offering local delivery at this time.

Q: Can my order be shipped to me?
A: Yes. We offer USPS Priority Mail (2-5 business days) and USPS Media Mail (3-10 business days). Only books and CDs can be sent via USPS Media Mail, and it is an uninsured shipping method. We will contact you if your order is not eligible for Media Mail. Any missing package claims must be made with the USPS.

  • Please Note: If some of the books that you request are out of stock at the store and need to be ordered, we will wait to ship your order until we receive all of your books. If you would prefer for your books to be shipped as they are available, there will be a shipping fee for each package.

Q: How much does shipping cost?

  • USPS Priority Mail: $8.00 + $1.00 per item
  • USPS Media Mail: $5.00 + $1.00 per item

Q: Has the pandemic impacted delivery times?
A: Yes. The post office is currently overwhelmed due to the COVID-19 crisis and we are seeing delays, especially with USPS Media Mail. If an order is time-sensitive, such a gift, we recommend ordering farther in advance than you normally would and/or choosing USPS Priority Mail.

Q: Where can I find the tracking information for my order?
A: Please email us at orders@brooklinebooksmith.com to request your USPS tracking number.

Q: What can I purchase on your website?
A: Any full-priced book that we carry or that is available for us to order can be purchased on our website. You can also purchase our gift cards on the website. Many of our popular items, like cards, puzzles, journals, used books, bargain books, and art supplies are not currently available for purchase online. Please call us at 617-566-6660 to purchase these items over the phone.  We hope to feature many bestselling gifts online in the weeks ahead.

Q: Can I buy self-published books, textbooks, or out of print books on your website?
A: No. However, because our online catalog is powered by a third-party service, sometimes books are listed on our website that are unavailable for us to order, including self-published books. We are not able to remove these books, unfortunately. If you want to check if a given book is available, please call us at 617-566-6660 or email us at orders@brooklinebooksmith.com.

Q: What payment methods are accepted on the website?
A: All major credit cards, debit cards, and our Brookline Booksmith gift cards can be used on our site. Your card will be charged when you check out.

Q: If I need to cancel my order, what do I do?
A: Please contact us by phone at 617-566-6660 or by email at orders@brooklinebooksmith.com if you need to cancel your order. If you order has already been completed, we cannot refund you through the website and will need to do so over the phone or at the store.

Q: Can my order be gift-wrapped or include a gift message?
A: Yes. We are happy to provide these services free of charge. Please include any special requests or instructions in the “Order comments” section when you check out.

Q: Do you offer digital gift cards?
A: No. We only sell physical gift cards at this time. They can either be mailed to a recipient free of charge or they can be picked up at the store.

Q: Do you sell digital audiobooks?
A: Yes! We are partnered with Libro.FM to provide high-quality, DRM-free audiobooks. They offer both a subscription service and one-time audiobook purchases. You can read more about the program here

Q: Are there other ways I can support the store?
A: Yes! You can buy a giftcard to use in the store, over the phone, or online. You can attend a virtual event. You can stay in touch with us on our blog, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or sign up for our newsletter, b-mail. You can also visit our Bookshop page for more online shopping options, although please note that Bookshop is a third-party platform and we do not own or operate it.