Special orders

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A customer recently asked us something she had been wondering about for a while.

“If there’s a book I want that isn’t on your shelves, is it really annoying of me to ask you to order it?”

Our answer was: “Of course not.”

In fact, special orders are what keep us in business, as well as keeping our stock fresh and interesting.

We were actually quite surprised by the question, and we realized that if she doesn’t know, some of you out there might not either.

In talking more with this customer, we found she was under the impression that special orders involve placing an order for a single book.  While that does occasionally happen with small presses or self-published books, the majority of special orders are simply added to a list of books we want for the shelves.

With more and more books being published every year, issues of space in a small bookstore mean there are more and more excellent books that we just don’t have the space to stock.

Ordering your special requests from us is also the best way to ensure that we know what you want to read and stock more books that you might like.  Customer requests are an important part of independent bookstores and shape what you see on the shelves in a very real way.  We watch what’s both being ordered and what’s selling from the shelf.  If a customer orders a book and we think it’ll interest our other customers, we’ll order some for the store, too.  If three customers order the same book…well, that’s a given, isn’t it?

So if we don’t have a book on shelf, feel free to ask us to get it for you.  We don’t need a deposit and the vast majority of orders take under two weeks.  When they arrive, we can notify you by your choice of phone or email, and books can be picked up at your convenience at the store.

And those times when you don’t quite remember the title and author?  That’s not an imposition either; it’s a challenge.

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