Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I tell if a Book is available and where?

What does "Available on our shelves" mean?

Normally it means we believe we have the book on the shelf. During the current COVID19 shutdown, we're fulfilling orders though a third party distributor, not from our store stock.

What does "Ships in 1-8 days" mean?

We're having all our orders shipped from a distributor's warehouse until we reopen after the current public health emergency.

What does "Special Order" mean?

This means we know something about the book, but we probably can't get it.

What does "Email or call for price" mean?

As it says in the small print, you're looking at a book we don't have and almost certainly can't order.

The wording in the larger print is machine generated, isn't ours, and we're unable to reword it.

How do I order?

You list a book. How do I get it shipped to me?

Set up a website account, if you haven't already, and select either credit card or PayPal as the means of payment.

Can you ship me a used book?

Sorry, not right now. We're hoping that we'll again be able to fulfull orders of our used books through Biblio sometime this summer or fall.

Can I have a book shipped to someone other than myself?

Not at this time. We'll cancel all orders made that list a shipping address that differs from the billing address. This is a restriction placed on us by our third-party shipper.

How do I return a book?

If you purchased a book through the on-line store, ship it back to us and when we process the return, usually within a couple days after receiving it back, we'll email you [a code for] a gift certificate for the sale price of the book.

If a different problem occured with your order, contact us. We'll do what we can to straighten it out.

How do I resolve problems with my order?

I placed an order but I haven't heard anything back from you. Not even an acknowledgement. Should I worry?

You should email us using our contact form, for something has probably gone astray with your order.

Successful orders should always receive an automated email response soon after you've submitted your order. If you've been waiting for more than an hour, this may mean that your order didn't go all the way through.

It's been three and a half weeks (or longer) and my book still hasn't come! What gives?

You should either receive the book by then or have heard from us, one way or the other, by two and a half weeks after you've placed an order for a book we don't have in stock. Sometimes the distributor and/or publisher runs out of stock themselves and the publisher has to schedule a fresh print run. Since most of the warehouses are located along the American east coast or in the eastern mid-west, sometimes weather bogs a shipment down. Contact us whenever a special order hasn't arrived in a couple weeks and you haven't heard from us.

We'll be happy to look into your order.

Who are you?

What is University Press Books?

We're also a brick and motar store that has operated in Berkeley, California, at the south side of the Cal Berekely campus since 1974. Although we specialize in showcasing titles published by university presses, we also sell books for inquisitive, discerning readers published by commercial presses, along with poetry and other literature published by such small presses as Omnidawn.

Are you the University of California Press?

No. While we handle a number of their titles, we're actually different entities. We don't publish books. We're a privately owned business ,even though we sell books to the university community and host readings by faculty, student groups, and others associated with the university,

If you're looking for the University of California Press, visit them at

How does a university press differ from a trade press?

Everyone who reads at all is familiar with trade presses, the Doubledays, Knophs, Penguins, Random Houses, Scribners, Simon & Shusters, Hachettes, Vintages a whole host of commercial imprints that publish fiction and non-fiction aimed at a general audience.

University presses are owned by colleges and universities (or at least started out that way).

While they mostly publish titles aimed at readers already knowledgeable about their topics, they also release titles aimed at general readers, such as UC Press's nature guides, Oxford's Very Short Introduction series, and a wide assortment of books, ranging from Egyptian history, labor history, Picasso, to climate change. Ususally written by academics, sure, but a fair number are intelligible to a curious lay public.

What is IndieBound/IndieCommerce?

UPB belongs to a trade group, the American Booksellters Association, who runs IndieCommerce, a service that connects book lovers to independent book stores near where they live, study, or work.

Go to to learn about other independent bookstores, find out what's going on in book culture, and disvoer why shopping with dominant on-line retailers might not be in your long-term interest.

What is Bookshop?

Bookshop is an independently run on-line platform who partners with independent brick and motar stores to snatch market share away from monopolistic on-line retailers.

Bookshop shares aportion of what you purchase from their site with us and other independent bookstores.

Our Bookshop page also enables us to draw your attention to worthy books that we just can't afford to stock or keep in stock.

When is your storefront open?

Our store front is currently closed while City of Berkeley Shelter-in-Place orders are in effect. We do invite you on-line business.

Otherwise, we close for Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

How Do I Contact You?

I have a question left unanswered here. How do I get in touch with you?

At the bottom of most pages youll find a text link that says, "Email us." Click that and you can communicate with us using the supplied form.

You can use the same form even if you don't have a question, if you want to share some feedback, or just tell us how you appreciate us.

Front facade of University Press Books

From 1974, University Press Books has stoked the blaze of well over ten thousand minds on fire, carrying new scholarship published by the great university presses in the English-speaking world.

Since our founding, we've added quality fiction and creative non-fiction to our selection, without drfiting from our mission to showcase top new texts introduced by university presses.

Order from us. Visit us. Let well-wrought words churn and burn within.