Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions regarding our store and website. If you have a question that isn't answered here, or need additional information please contact us.

STORE QUESTIONS | ORDER QUESTIONS | CHQ QUESTIONS

STORE QUESTIONS

  1. Where are you located?
    • We are located on Bestor Plaza at the Chautauqua Institution in the lower level of the Chautauqua Post Office building.  Get directions here.
  2. Where do I park?
    • During the Chautauqua Institution Season, visitors may park in the main lot across from the Main Gate Welcome Center for a fee (the daily rate is $9 -- click here for more information).  During the off-season, free parking is available in the lot next to the Bookstore.
  3. How accessible is the Chautauqua Bookstore?
    • There is elevator access at the center of the building, to the right of the Bookstore's main entrance.  Three accessible parking spaces are included in the lot to the left of the building's main entrance; however, during the summer season, traffic on the Institution grounds is regulated -- click here for more information.  During our snowy winter months, heated sidewalks, surface treatments, and a temporary roofed structure in front of the elevator help keep the path between the parking lot and entrances as clear as possible.    The Bookstore is on one level, with no platforms or steps separating any section of the store.  Some of our shelves and wall displays can reach from the ground to over six feet high, and our staff is happy to assist with retrieving items and/or holding items at the register to ease further browsing. Our stock of Large Print and Audiobooks onhand is generally limited, but any available title can be ordered upon request. There are no public restrooms in the Bookstore.
      If you have difficulty accessing the Bookstore, or have any further questions or comments about the Bookstore's accessibility, please let us know. 
  4. What are your hours?
    • Off-season/winter hours 9-5; Summer hours 7-9.  Any temporary changes will be noted at the top of our homepage. 
  5. How do I contact you?

ORDER QUESTIONS

  1. If I find a book on your site, does that mean it's currently in stock at your store?
    • Not necessarily. If your order is time sensitive, please call us to confirm availability.
  2. I received a confirmation e-mail. Does this mean that my order is ready to be picked up or has been shipped?
    • No. This just means that we've received your order, you will be contacted when your order has shipped or is ready to be picked up.
  3. When will I get my book(s)?
    • We strive to ship in-stock orders within 2-4 business days.  Delivery time depends on the method of shipping -- we use USPS and FedEx, depending on which works best for your order. For orders with out-of-stock items, we will provide an estimated date of shipment.
  4. What if I need to return something?
    • Please review our return policies and contact us with any further questions.
  5. What forms of payment do you accept?
    •  Online, we accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express).  If you're picking up or shopping in-store, you may also pay in cash, personal check, or gift card.
  6. Can I get my CLSC discount?
    • Member discounts are only available with in-store pickup.  Please bring your current membership card.
  7. Can I place an order online without an account?
    • No; you must have an account to place an online order.  The only information necessary to create an account is a valid e-mail address.  Create a new account here.  If you do not wish to provide this information, you may call us during business hours to place your order by phone.
  8. It says "buy 5 lecture CDs for 6th free," but my order total shows a charge for all six.  What do I do?
    • Rest easy!  Our system isn't quite advanced enough to figure out which item assortments earn a free item, so we do it ourselves.  When we process your order, we'll make sure to only charge your card for the first five.  (If that makes you nervous, go ahead and remind us in your order comments.)
  9. How can I check the status of my order?
    • Log in to your account, then in 'My Account,' select the 'Orders' tab -- a list of all orders and their current status is provided.

CHQ QUESTIONS

  1. When and where are Chautauqua Speaker booksignings?  Will every Speaker do a signing? Is a purchase necessary?
    • Most speakers with published books will also agree to a booksigning.  Typically, signings for Morning Lectures take place at 1:15 pm at the Author's Alcove between the Bookstore and Brick Walk Café, Interfaith Lecture signings take place immediately afterwards on the Hall of Missions porch, and CLSC signings take place on the porch of Alumni Hall following the lecture.  Any other signings generally take place at the lecture location immediately following the program.  These guidelines will not always be the case; it is best to verify the signing status for each event individually.  Signings follow a first-come-first-signed practice.  If your name is unusual or has several possible spellings, we recommend bringing a notecard with the preferred spelling, so Cait doesn't leave with a book addressed to Kate!  A selection of the speakers books will be available for purchase at most off-site signings, but you are welcome to bring previously purchased titles.  Although gate or event passes are necessary to attend the lectures, there is no charge associated with the booksignings.  Occasionally, only a certain selection of the author's titles will be signed; this is at the discretion of the author or their publisher.  Off-site signings will now only accept credit cards as payment.
  2. How can I become a CLSC member for the current year?
    • During the 9-week CHQ season, memberships available only through the CLSC Veranda, located in the Hultquist Center, and reachable by phone (716-357-6293) or email (clsc@chq.org).  Out of season, memberships can be purchased from Chautauqua Bookstore, both in-store and online.
  3. Why can't I get discounts with a CLSC Life Membership?
    • This is a common confusion.  The CLSC does not offer life memberships; Life Memberships are only available for the Alumni Association of the CLSC (formerly The Society of the Hall in the Grove).  The Alumni Association, founded in 1892, is a separate organization with its own rich history and mission (click here to visit their website).  The discount we offer reflects our involvement and support for the yearly program presented by the CLSC.  (You can be a member of both!)