Thanks for your patience!

Dear Room Friends!

An update! We are currently very understaffed due to unforseen circumstances and overwhelmed with inquiries by phone and email. We may not be able to reply to your email or phone call quickly, and it will likely take a couple of days to respond to your web order. Please read this post to see if your question or comment is addressed, and if not, email rather than call if possible--the email is We are focusing as much as possible on the high volume of web orders and phone/email requests we have been getting, and we request your patience.

If you are inquiring about whether we plan to repoen to in-person browsing soon: the answer is no. We believe the science behind the coronavirus means the safest option for our staff (some of us have high-risk members in our households) and our customers is to stay closed for the time being, especially as cases are rising in Madison with alarming statistics. We are happy to continue to serve you with books without contributing unnecessarily to this trend.

If you are requesting recommendations or stock check on a title: Have you checked our website to see if it is available to order? If not, please do so here. Please note--the website searches a database that shows availability based on whether our warehouse has it in stock--we may not have the books on hand. If it is an antiracist book, please see the antiracism learning list we made for options to order backordered titles. We currently have copies of most of the major titles in stock, and you will be able to order them with the all-caps backorder products on the list. If you are looking for other recommendations, please check our staff picks and themed rec lists. If you are asking about availability and none of the above steps answer your question, please send your email with the words STOCK CHECK in the subject line.

If you are inquiring about a web order you have already placed: We respond to every order, but are working a couple of days behind. Thanks for your patience. We will notify you at least twice--once, within a couple of days, to acknowledge the order has been received and is in process, and a second time letting you know that the order is ready to pick up in the vestibule or is being shipped. In most cases, if your order was placed less than two weeks ago and you have gotten an acknowledgment email, we are likely just waiting for the book to arrive or it is in the backlog of orders waiting to be shipped/vestibuled--please be patient. If you have not received an expected order and it has been longer than two weeks since we acknowledged the order, please send your email with the words WEB ORDER CHECK in the subject line.

If you are inquiring about a large order (50+ books) or for an institution or UW instructor PO: Please send your email with the words INSTITUTIONAL ORDER in the subject line.

If you are sending a general expression of care, missing us, worrying about how we're faring during the pandemic and recent protests: Thank you so much for thinking of us. We appreciate you so much--we couldn't be here without you and we, too, miss the days when it was safe enough to have people in the store. We are faring through the effects of two pandemics, Covid-19 and white supremacy. We continue to support the Black Lives Matter protests, and we do not believe property damage should outweigh concern for systemic racism or outrage against the shocking violence and escalations of the police and anti-riot shows of force against protesting citizens, or the threat to Black lives and safety in our community. Please accept our deep appreciation for your concern and continue to direct your positive community care into following the lead of antiracist activists in Madison, in lobbying local officials to take action against the violence and injustice levied against Black people and protestors in Madison, and (especially if you are a white/non-Black person of color) in learning about the work of antiracism and the deep history of systemic racism in our country, and having conversations with your families/friends/acquaintances for perspective and action in support of Madison's Black community. Thank you so much for joining us in this difficult, necessary, transformational work. We are all in this together.