Fall 2020 Course Ordering Information
Main Coronavirus Course Ordering Takeaways:

  • Instructor Course Order Deadline (to have by start of classes): August 10
  • Student Individual Order Deadline (to have by start of classes): August 17th
  • Class Size: Enrollment of 25+ students only
  • Course Book Prices: Less than $30 only
  • Web Orders Only - Media Mail Shipping Only (No In-Store Options)
  • Free Student Shipping
  • No Buybacks or Used Books Available This Semester
  • No Returns Accepted For Any Reason
  • No Desk Copy Requests Handled By Room Staff

If you wish to place your course orders with Room, please fill out this Google Form to provide us the information we need:
Dear Instructors,

We hope this letter finds you well. As is the case with everyone who works with the academic year, we have been increasingly concerned about Fall semester instruction and the safety of students and all the staff who support and instruct them. We anticipate that even more than usual, students will be turning to online sources to order course materials for their classes.

We have made some big changes to our usual textbook ordering process this semester, scaling back significantly due to the coronavirus. PLEASE read if you intend to send students to us for course materials!


Class Size: We will only officially carry courses this semester with enrollments of 25 or more students . Courses with fewer students are still welcome to ask their students to order with us, however we will not have the staff availability to make a website landing page for the course or verify that students have ordered specific editions of required books. Such orders will be handled as any web order from any customer would be, and students and instructors will be responsible for making sure students get correct editions of books.

Types of Books: We will not carry coursebooks where the retail price of a given book is more than $30.00, or that would require us to order directly from a particular (usually specialty) academic publisher. If you are unsure about whether a book you wish to assign falls into this category, please check our website to find out whether the 'Add to Cart' button is live for the edition you wish to assign. You could also check on the book's publisher's website to find out the retail price of the book.

Web Orders To Be Shipped Only: A big change this year is that we are not open to the public, so students will not be able to walk in and buy books off our shelves as they have done in the past. To keep vestibule exposure and crowding down, we will only be shipping books for students--no vestibule pickup will be available for course materials and student vestibule orders will be automatically converted to free shipping.

Student Shipping: Free! Students should choose the Fall 2020 Student Shipping option at checkout. Books are sent Media Mail, which if the student is in Madison typically reaches them within two business days. We can ship anywhere in the United States, so distance learning students can also take advantage of it. The shipping code is on the honor system, so if you are teaching a smaller course of students than we are able to officially carry, they could still order through us and get free shipping using this shipping option.

Timeline: Your students will need to have their web orders placed individually with us by August 17th in order to ensure they have the books by the start of classes. This means that instructors need to get us your course orders as soon as possible--by August 10th at the latest! We will not be bringing in the same level of stock ahead of time as we have done in the past, so while your students may get their orders more quickly, it is best to assume it will take up to two weeks for them to receive their books.

All sales are final : Please do not assign a book if you think you may change your mind and assign something else. We will not accept returns under this circumstance. If the course gets canceled entirely (rather than moving from in-person to online), we can discuss options with you.

No Used or Buyback Books: Due to staffing concerns and the logistics of social distancing, we will not be offering to buy back books right now, nor will we have used copies of books available in most cases. Prior years' students should plan to hang onto their books until next semester (hoping we are able to open to the public by then!)

No Desk Copy Requests will be filled by Room this semester. We have written a handy guide to help you make these requests yourselves. We will also not be able to loan desk copies to instructors as we have done under ordinary conditions.

Obviously these are extremely unusual times--we look forward to being able to support a broader range of students and instructors in future semesters. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes during an already tumultuous time. Please email us at RoomCourseOrders@gmail.com with any questions.

Hoping the best for you and yours,

The Staff at Room
A Room of One's Own Bookstore
315 W Gorham St., Madison WI 53703
RoomCourseOrders@gmail.com