picture of Amherst Books
8 Main Street  Amherst, MA 01002     413.256.1547    800.503.5865    books@amherstbooks.com

Information & help

About us:

Amherst books was founded in 2003 by Mark Wootton & Nat Herold.   Wootton & Herold together have over 50 years in bookselling & publishing experience.   They have previously owned separate bookstores in Amherst, Massachusetts & worked or owned bookstores in Amherst; Boston, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; & Kansas City.   Amherst Books is an independent bookstore featuring new & used books in literature, poetry, philosophy, cultural studies, current events & area studies.   We carry a large collection of small press titles & periodicals.   We sell textbooks for classes taught at Amherst College, Hampshire College, & the University of Massachusetts.   And we sponsor or support 100 readings & book launch parties a year.  Amherst Books has been repeatedly named “Pick of the Pioneer Valley’ by the Michelin Green Guide.   In 2007 it was named “Best Bookstore in New England” by Boston Magazine’s New England Travel & Life.   In 2008 New England Travel & Life discontinued the "Best" category, replacing it with "Diversions".   Amherst Books was chosen as the bookshop "Diversion" of Central Massachusetts.

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Contact us:

Our telephone number is: 413.256.1547
Toll-free: 800.503.5865
Fax: 413.256.1621
Email: sales@amherstbooks.com

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Our privacy policy:

We will never share your information.   Your privacy is important to us.

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Our discount policy:

We give a 10% discount to all local K-12, college & university faculty, support staff, as well as graduate students, & senior citizens.   We give a 20% discount to faculty who support us by ordering their textbooks from us.

Except when they are already known to us, educators must use their academic email addresses in order to get their discount.

In order to get their on-line discount, senior citizens must have an established relationship with us. Note well: all discounts will be vetted before sales are processed.   Any deliberate misinformation will entail cancellation of the order, as well as all future orders.

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Ordering on-line:

Although primarily a ‘brick & mortar’ bookstore, we provide secure on-line ordering.   Do not give any personal information unless the url on your browser begins with "https://" & you can see the security certificate in our header.   You have the option of keeping your credit card on file as well as several addresses.   If a book or the books you’ve ordered are in stock, they are put aside or shipped usually within a day of your ordering them.   If you are planning to pick your order up at the bookshop, please wait for confirmation before coming in.   Because we are an open bookstore, sometimes we cannot find books on the shelves that our computer inventory system believes are there.   (Most often they are simply mis–shelved, but that doesn’t mean that we can find them!)

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"In stock"

Because we are an old-fashioned walk-in bookstore, our shelf inventory is not as accurate as a closed warehouse inventory can be.   In most cases, if a book is listed as being on hand then it is.   We will let you know right away if the book is not on our shelves.   No charges will be made against your credit card until the book is in our hands.

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"Special order"

Special orders usually take a day or two.   If it takes any longer than that we will let you know when it arrives.   No charges will be made against your card until the book is in our hands.

!Please note: if a book is not in stock we cannot guarantee that it will have the stated price when it comes in.   If a price does change, we will confirm that you want the book or books at the new price or prices before charging you.

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"Price not available"

We will send you a quote by email (or call you if you have given that as an option) with the price before we order & charge you.

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We are happy to ship either UPS or the U.S. Postal Service.   Although slightly (for New England deliveries) more expensive to significantly more expensive than U.S. mail, we prefer to ship UPS because we can track shipments & there is a basic insurance coverage.

If you live in New England (except for very rural areas in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, or on an island), New York City or Albany, you can expect one day delivery from Ground UPS service & probably with U.S. Mail's Priority rate.

  • UPS: Orders placed before 4:00 P.M. will usually go out the next day.
  • U.S. Mail: Orders placed by noon (& possibly well into the afternoon) will usually go out the same day.

If you need faster service, it's best to call us.

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Our returns policy:

All non–textbooks are returnable within a reasonable period of time with a receipt, if brought back to the store, or with an order number if returned by mail.   They must be in new condition.   Returns without a receipt and/or order number may be allowed store credit.   Unacceptable returns will be returned to the customer at his or her request & his or her expense.

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Textbook ordering & textbook returns:

If you are ordering textbooks, please be sure to tell us the course number (e.g. "English 346 Section 2") and the professor's name to ensure that you are getting the edition she or he asked us to carry.   If edition is not a concern, or you've chosen a different edition with your order, please specify so that we know you've done so intentionally.

Textbooks may be only be returned up to the end of the add/drop period for the term for which they were purchased.   This is typically two weeks into the Fall & Winter semesters & one week into the Winter & Summer sessions.   If you are returning by mail, returns must be postmarked by the end of add/drop to be acceptable.   Returns must be accompanied by a receipt or order number.     Returned texts must be in new condition (& still in the shrink wrap if they were shipped to you in shrink wrap).   Returns without a receipt and/or order number may be allowed store credit.   Unacceptable returns will be returned to the customer at her or his request & her or his expense.

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Required fields:

In order to create an account we require your name (e.g. “Thomas Pynchon”), your email address (“james.dandi@gmail.com”), a security question (e.g. “What year were your parents born?”), & the answer to your security question (e.g. “1965”).   These items are marked with a single asterisk (*).   In order to pay with a credit card we will need all fields marked with two asterisks (**).   This includes your billing address.   You will be able to add or edit shipping addresses & add or edit your credit card information later.

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Passwords are case-specific.   They may contain any characters but must be between 6 and 16 characters long.

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Security question:

Security questions allow you to access your account if you have forgotten your password.   Many sites use them, but most sites do not allow you to devise your own.   They are often questions like “What year were your parents born?” or “What is the name of your favorite pet?”.   We say: use your imagination!   Just so long as you can remember the answer!

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Credit card security code:

The security code is an added security feature to help protect you against on-line fraud.   The number only appears on your card, not on receipts or your statement, so it provides some assurance that the card is the the possession of the customer.

On MasterCard & Visa cards the security code is a 3 digit group of numbers following your credit card number on the back of the card:

master card visa image

On American Express cards the security code consists of 4 digits & is printed—not embossed—on the front towards the right:

american express card

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If you use our website, you must 18 or older.

The Website is made available to you for your lawful, personal, non-commercial use only.  

You are responsible for keeping your password and account information confidential and you agree to accept responsibility for all uses of account.

Amherst Books reserves the right to refuse to accept orders and to terminate accounts at our sole discretion.

We at Amherst Books try to be as accurate as possible.   List prices do change, though we will in almost all cases honor our published price on books listed as "on hand".   The price of books that are out of stock or that have to be special-ordered may change but we will contact you before charging your credit card & shipping.   Because we are a 'brick & mortar' shop, books will occasionally be sold, mislaid or otherwise missing in ways that would not be the case in a warehouse operation, so that books listed as "on hand" may, in fact, not be on hand.  This is at least as irritating to us as it may be to you!

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