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COVID-19 Response and Event Updates

If you are uncomfortable coming into the store, don't fret! We highly encourage everyone to continue utilizing our website for contact-free book orders! We always check our store stock first, so if we have a title on our shelves you'll be the first to know, no browsing necessary. We are happy to continue shipping books wherever they need to go, and will continue offering a contact-free store pickup option upon request.


Dear Readers,

The Book Cellar is once again open for browsing! Things will look a bit different than when you last stopped by before we closed our doors in March, but we will be here slinging books and bottles of wine and we can't wait to see your smize! Please take a moment to carefully review all of our new store policies before planning your next visit.

In order to browse at The Book Cellar...

  • All customers MUST wear a mask covering both their mouth and nose at all times when inside the store.
  • We will provide hand sanitizer (required) and gloves (optional) upon entry for your use.
  • Store capacity will be limited to four customers at a time! Please wait outside if we are at capacity. If many folks are waiting, we may ask you to limit your browsing time in the store to allow everyone a fair chance. A bookseller will let you know as soon as it's safe to enter!
  • If you have displayed any symptoms of sickness within the last week, PLEASE STAY HOME. We are doing all we can to keep our customers safe and request you extend the same courtesy to our booksellers!
  • Please continue to practice safe social distancing! Use the store's markers to remain 6ft apart, and while browsing please limit one person per aisle and use your best judgement to avoid close contact.
  • All beverages will be To Go ONLY. We will not be offering any food items for the time being. Ask us about our beer and wine!
  • Plan ahead! Our restrooms will remain closed to the public at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience!
  • Please ask our booksellers for any assistance! We are here to help with recommendations and finding books, let us know what you're looking for!

**Due to the ongoing coin shortage and the COVID-19 pandemic we will not be accepting CASH payments at this time. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and are happy to accept all major credit card companies!**

An important note: please wait until you are notified your order is ready for pickup! We may need to order your book(s) into the store, and that can take a couple days. We will be sure to let you know as soon as they arrive!

We appreciate your patience as response times might be slower than usual due to, well, everything currently going on! We have but two phone lines, and are currently adhering to social distancing guidelines for our highly reduced staff. If you are unable to reach a bookseller when you call, we are likely busy assisting other customers. Feel free to call us back another time, place your order online with no human interaction necessary, or shoot us an email at and we will be sure to get back to you just as soon as we possibly can. Please note: we will only be manning the store phones Monday - Friday from 10am - 6pm and Saturday from 10am - 4pm. If you attempt to reach us outside of these hours, we will not be there to answer. 

Now, here are some answers to some frequently asked questions:

  • Yes, we are still taking orders! You are welcome to place an order through our website, to be shipped directly to the address of your choosing, or to be picked up in-store (contact-free pickup available upon request).
  • If you are interested in paying IN STORE or using a GIFT CARD for your order, please be sure to select the Credit Card payment option upon Checkout. If you select PayPal as your payment option you will automatically be charged, but as long as you opt to pay with a credit card we will easily be able to adjust your order to Pay at Store. If you do select to pay with PayPal we do not have that option. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience!
  • We are currently not fulfilling orders on the weekends so our small staff has a chance to recharge, breathe, and tackle some of our own quarantine needs!
  • If you haven't heard anything from us about your order, that means that something is backordered and/or out of stock at our distributor's warehouses. Please feel free to reach out if you'd like more information, but we promise we are not ignoring you! We circle back on all unfulfilled orders daily to see if/when we can fulfill them, and one of us will eyeball and log your order within one day of when you initially placed it, with the exception of the weekends.
  • On that note, we also check on ALL backordered books every single weekday morning, so we promise as soon as any copies at all are available one will be heading into the store for you!
  • Please disregard the "Availability" status our website provides for products. Our website is not synced up with either our store inventory or our distributor's warehouse stock at this time. If you do need to know the availability of any particular item, please call the store at (773) 293-2665, or send us an email at for the fastest response and most accurate availability information.
  • We are aware that USPS shipping times are currently running slow. After many hours of back and forths with both the postal service and our distributor, we have discovered that due to the unprecedented backlog USPS is currently facing, particularly in large markets such as Chicago, packages are remaining at postal facilities much longer than usual. This is unfortunately even true for packages labeled priority mail. With such a large portion of the population currently depending on delivery for both essential and nonessential goods due to coronavirus, shipping times are simply stretching long. The good news is the vast majority of orders are now once again being delivered with no delays! If you do encounter any issues with shipping, please contact us directly. We are happy to troubleshoot as needed and if the worst does happen and USPS misplaces your books, we can provide replacements as long as we are notified of the lost package in a timely manner. 
  • If you are interested in our contact-free store pickup option, please note your interest in the "Comments/Memo" box provided when ordering through our website and be prepared to pay online. We can safely bag/label your book(s) once they arrive at the store and place them in our vestibule for you to snag, no in-person interaction necessary!
  • All of our events will continue to be hosted virtually for the time being. While we have pressed pause on our in-store events, we're hosting plenty of wonderful authors (and books!) virtually! All events posted on our Events Calendar will be virtual, and we will provide the use of our Zoom for all book club meetings until further notice.

If you are looking for ways to support The Book Cellar right now, here are a few things you can do:

  • Place orders on our website! We are more than happy to ship you books directly from our distributor's warehouse. Stories are more important now than ever. Take advantage of your unexpected free time by finally picking up that book you've been promising yourself you're going to read for years!
  • Preorder, preorder, preorder!!! Seriously folks, especially as we're entering Autumn and the holiday season looms, preordering is incredibly important this year. Supply lines across the board have slowed and printers are facing massive backlogs, so if there's a new book coming out that you're desperate to read or determined to gift to someone in 2020, PLACE THAT ORDER RIGHT NOW!!!
  • Buy some bottles of wine/beer, or take a moment to look through our greeting card selection! We have a great selection of enjoyable non-book items for sale at the store. And yes, that does include puzzles!
  • Buy a gift card! You now have the option to purchase a Book Cellar gift card directly through our website. We are happy to mail the gift card to you for free if you provide your shipping address! This is a great way to support all local businesses and restaurants right now, and gives you something fun to look forward to once this is all over!
  • Subscribe to! partners with independent bookstores across the nation to provide readers easy access to the wide world of audiobooks, while still allowing them to support their local neighborhood bookstore.
  • Check out our page on Bookshop! Bookshop is an online bookstore whose sole mission is supporting local, independent bookstores. Simply search your favorite local bookstore, and the proceeds from your online purchase will go directly to them! If you're struggling with our website, or are just curious to checkout a new online ordering platform (Am*zon who??), be sure to take a look! -->

The whirlwind of emotions we have experienced is hard to describe. It's our job to deal with words, but it's almost impossible to express how grateful we are to all of you who placed orders, bought gift cards, asked for recommendations, stocked up on wine, promoted us on your social media channels, or left messages of encouragement and support. We truly feel the love you have for your community and for indie bookstores in general.

We know things are changing quickly out there, and we just wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU for your continued support during these uncertain times. We'll never stop saying it! Wherever you're sheltering, stay safe and stay sane out there. It's our firm belief that stories are necessary to manage any uncertainty or crisis.

Happy reading!

-The Book Cellar Staff

All titles are subject to availability. Prices Subject to Change. Please call (773) 293-2665 to confirm.
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