The Chautauqua Bookstore is Re-opening!

The Bookstore is very pleased to announce that it is reopening under a phased schedule. The store will be open for curbside pickup starting Saturday June 13th thru Monday the 15th. We will be open for regular in-store shopping starting on Tuesday the 16th between 9am and 5pm. It is expected that those will be the regular hours of operation (9-5) throughout the summer, but they are subject to change.

For curbside pickup, guests may call the Bookstore number at 716.357.2151 or email us at For the present, this service will be limited to book shopping. You can call between 9 and 5 to speak with someone, or leave a message for us to call you back at any time. Leave your name and number, and the title of the book if you know it. We will call you back to confirm we have what you want, take your charge card number and process the transaction inside the store. We will then meet you outside the Bookstore between 4 and 5 pm that day and give you a bag with your order in it. As we gauge the success of this process, we will expand the service to include other products. (Online orders including non-book items may use curbside pickup, as the desired items can be identified easily and accurately).

Once we bring guests inside the store we ask that they follow established procedures for keeping health risks for the community to a minimum. The Institution has been painstaking in its commitment to developing plans and procedures whose primary purpose is to maintain the health of staff, visitors, and community residents. Each part of the Institution has developed procedures particular to its role as a supporter of the community.

Inside the Bookstore those things will include:

  • Asking all staff, visitors, and guests to wear face masks while inside the store
  • Asking that everyone who enters the store sanitize their hands - sanitizing station located to left as you enter the store
  • Asking everyone to maintain the accepted social distancing space of 6 ft.
  • Asking that parents or guardians accompany all children under the age of 12
  • Asking that dogs be left outside of the store
  • Asking guests to pay with forms other than cash at this time. We will accept credit cards, gift cards and checks
  • Asking that guests pay attention to the markings on the floor that indicate which way traffic in an aisle should flow
  • Asking that guests be cognizant of the fact that only a limited number of people will be allowed into the store at a time; currently that number is projected to be 40

An important thing to let people know is that, at least for the time being, the Bookstore will not be carrying newspapers. In an effort to keep the number of guests in the store at a manageable level, and because the number of people coming in for only the newspaper can make that number swell significantly - especially on Sundays - this question has been carefully considered. It is certainly possible that as we gather more information about how the entire process is moving along, the decision will be reconsidered. In the meantime, we apologize for this very significant inconvenience.

This has certainly been a very challenging time for everyone. The Bookstore has, for many Chautauquans over the years, been a sanctuary.... even amongst the tranquil grounds of the Institution. Our hope is that we will be able to work out a way to make this continue to be true. Blessings to all of you, and wishes for a safe and health 2020 Season.

Earl Rothfus
Bookstore Manager