Support Harvard Book Store
Harvard Book Store

Support Harvard Book Store

October 15, 2020:
A letter to our community from Jeff and Linda, owners of Harvard Book Store. 

From the American Bookseller's Association, October 13, 2020

American Booksellers Association Launches National “Boxed Out” Campaign

The time is now for a conversation about consumer choices, the challenges of small business, and the threat of monopolies. 

20% of independent bookstores across the country are in danger of closing. Today, the American Booksellers Association launched the “Boxed Out” campaign to draw attention to the high stakes indie bookstores face this holiday season in the age of Amazon and Covid-19, with a social media campaign and installations, the first was revealed in Washington, DC, today and the rest will debut tomorrow in New York City and Los Angeles.

When these independent bookstores close Covid will be listed as the cause of death, but the pre-existing condition for many may be listed as Amazon. The brown boxes that have become ubiquitous in building lobbies and on porches are “boxing out” bookstores and other small businesses all across the country, resulting in the loss of local jobs, local sales tax, community, and support.

Allison K Hill, CEO of ABA says, “People may not realize the cost and consequences of ‘convenience’ shopping until it's too late. More than one indie bookstore a week has closed since the Covid-19 crisis began. At the same time, a report forecasts that Amazon will generate $10 billion in revenue on October 13 and 14 during its Prime Day promotion. Connecting these dots, it’s clear to see convenience has a cost and a consequence. Closed indie bookstores represent the loss of local jobs and local tax dollars; the loss of community centers; and the loss of opportunities for readers to discover books and connect with other readers in a meaningful face-to-face way.”

[Read the complete ABA press release on the "Boxed Out" campaign here.]

In a recent Los Angeles Times Op-Ed Hill said, “The same way our votes in the upcoming election will shape our country’s future, where we spend our money this holiday season will determine the communities we find ourselves in come 2021.”

Shop Early, Shop Local 

From our newsletter, October 2, 2020

You'll be hearing this a lot this fall. Shop early! Shop local! October is the new December!! Start thinking about your holiday shopping now rather than in mid-December (yes we've all procrastinated, we've all been there) because it is vital for the future of small businesses this year. October is the new December because with limited capacities we won't be able to be a crowded, bustling bookstore this December. We need to start selling you those books now, with plenty of time to mail them out to you and your loved ones, and stretch that in-store "holiday bustle" out over two months rather than two weeks. It's a different sort of year, but we're here to help.

Demand for books will be high. Some supply shortages are expected, including limited printing capacities in the U.S.—reprints for sold-out books might not happen until 2021. We want your friends and spouses and kids and partners and cousins and roommates to each have a pile of books to carry them through this winter.

So stay tuned to our email newsletter for the announcements of our (early) Annual Frequent Buyer Sale, our (early and virtual) Winter Warehouse Sale, and the (early) unveiling of our Holiday Hundred—one-hundred titles we think are perfect gift ideas for you and yours, with something for everyone on your list. Soon we'll be expanding our hours, expanding our staff, and doing everything we can to put books in your hands in a safe and socially distanced manner in the coming weeks.

Curbside pickup, order processing, and our mailout services will ramp up as well, and—don't panic, this is is just temporary, book-lovers—at the end of the day on Friday, October 9th, we'll be closing our used book and remainder basement to shoppers for 2020. We'll be transforming this space into socially distanced work stations for packing up your holiday packages as we work to safely and swiftly process your fabulous orders. The bargain basement will be closed to shoppers starting Saturday, October 10th.

As Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas, perfectly articulates it, "What do you want the 2021 story to be? Do you want the 2021 story to be 'small businesses adapt and make it through difficult times?' Or do you want the 2021 story to be 'large corporations exploit hard times in order to consolidate more profits and power?'" Thank you—for shopping local, shopping early, and thanks for shopping with Harvard Book Store.

Shop In-Store or Online at HARVARD.COM.

We are now once again open to shoppers. Welcome back! Please review our Guidelines for Visitors before your visit.


We also offer mailout and curbside pickup services (of new books, print-on-demand books, mugs, tote bags, and apparel) when you shop here on! Your patronage at is the best and most direct way to support us! THANK YOU!! We can ship throughout the United States.

Thank you for your purchases and all your wonderful well wishes. Keep reading, stay healthy, and be well.

Here are just a few of the ways you can support your local bookstore during some challenging and uncertain times. 

Donate to Ensure Our Future.

Thank you for making a financial contribution to support Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. Your patronage is a critical part of ensuring the future of Harvard Book Store during challenging times for independent bookstores. 

Purchase Gift Cards (or Online Gift Codes). 

Gift cards are available here on


Purchase as a gift to a loved one, or purchase for yourself for the future. You'll help support Harvard Book Store until your next visit. We will mail out your gift card, and gift cards can also be used online. Gift cards are available in a range of denominations. Learn more here.

If you want to give an online gift within a business day, opt for an online-only gift code! This will get emailed to your recipient for use on Learn more here.

Get Audiobooks at

Sign up here to purchase audiobooks through, which supports Harvard Book Store! is the first audiobook company to make it possible for you to buy audiobooks directly through independent bookstores. Choose a way to to audiobooks in a way that works for you. We offer monthly memberships, à la carte listening, and extra benefits when you switch from another audiobook provider, so you can choose a way to list to audiobooks that works for you.

Shop our Limited Edition Merchandise on Bonfire

Stay tuned for new limited edition t-shirt and tote bag designs, fulfilled by Bonfire and raising funds to support the staff of Harvard Book Store. Shop the collections here.

Subscribe and Follow and (Virtually) Attend

We'll keep you updated on our news. We'll recommend books. Our discerning booksellers will tell you what they're reading. We'll send you pretty pictures of the bookstore—to remind you that we'll still be here—when the world is safer again. And we have an amazing virtual event series presenting authors nearly every night of the week at

Email Newsletter:

Twitter: @harvardbooks

Instagram: @harvardbookstore

Facebook: @harvardbookstore

How our business and event series is being affected by COVID-19

Find unfolding updates on store policies and hours here

“Up Late” Shirt Design

Now available as a hoodie! Order deadline is Nov 6th! This fundraiser supports the future of Harvard Book Store.

Learn More »


We're experiencing an enormous and unprecedented order volume at this time. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Learn More »

New This Week

Shop this week's new arrivals, updated every Tuesday.

Learn More »