Buying Online Basics

"Online Book-Buying for Dummies"

Purchasing books from is a great way to support your local independent bookstore regardless of your location. The experience of buying online from Village Lights Bookstore is a little different from shopping in the physical store. Here, it’s not so much about browsing through the sections, but you can search for and purchase a wide variety of books, any time you want, from wherever you are. We’ll also highlight a few of our favorites on a rotating basis so you’ll always have new reading ideas. Here are some helpful hints (if you need them) for buying on the Village Lights website…

Important Note: First-time shoppers may either click on “My Account” in the Main Menu and create a new account, or dive directly into browsing and shopping, in which case an account will be created as you check out. But... it is highly recommended that you create an account before commencing to shop. Establishing an account requires creating a username and password. If you are a first-time user and, after placing items in a cart, close your browser or browser tab without having created an account, you will not be able to find that cart again. It will have disappeared into the ether... poof!, and your order will not have gone through, although you might think it has. Bummer.

Login (or create a new account).

Decide on a format. Print book (hardcover, paperback), or audiobook? On the Village Lights website you can find almost any book in print. You can also buy out-of-print books and audiobooks.

Search directly for new print books. See that search box at the top of every page on our website? It's titled "Search for New Print Books." Hard to miss... Type in an author, title, ISBN, or keyword, and a list of possible book matches will pop up. Choose from the list, or refine your search if you don’t get what you were looking for.

… or search directly for audiobooks. We sell audiobooks through our partnership with Create an account and a small portion of all your audiobook purchases will support your favorite independent bookstore, us. Select Audiobooks in the drop-down menu or go to the search tool further down in the right sidebar. Type in an author or title, and an array of possible matches will pop up.

… or explore our homepage, events listings, and staff bios for featured books. Each of these pages will have the option to buy featured books with a few clicks.

For New Print Books...

Add print books to your shopping cart. Anytime you see Add To Cart you can click on the link and add that book to your shopping cart. What’s that Wish List button all about? Find out here.

Note inventory status. Village Lights bookstore gives you access to over 3 million titles online – just a few more than we can fit on our shelves! Before placing your order, please note your book’s availability. Inventory online does not reflect current stock in our store.

  • Ships in 1-5 Days: We may not have the book on our shelves (you can always call to check), but it can be shipped to you that quickly. There are warehouses across the country that are ready to ship your item so that it can be delivered in the quickest time possible.
  • Out-of-Print: These books are not available at any distributor warehouse or from any publisher. The listing is merely for reference. However, you can search for a copy though our partnership with Check out our Rare & Collectible Books page to find out how.
  • Coming Soon: Available for Pre-Order: These titles will soon be available and may be ordered today so you will be among the first to receive them!
  • Special Order: This means the book you selected is not stocked at any warehouse. More often than not, the publisher information is inaccurate and, unfortunately, our experience shows orders in this category are usually not available. You can choose to "Ask a Bookseller." We will then look into it and get back to you.
  • Note: Most of the book information on this site is provided by the publishers, and it is mostly accurate. However, should there be a mistake (with over 3,000,000 entries it's quite possible), a real living person from Village Lights will contact you and work things out.

Choose how to get your books. At checkout you'll be given the option to have your print books shipped anywhere in the country, or pick them up in person at Village Lights at your convenience – choose whatever works for you. Read more on our Pickup & Shipping page.

Let us know if you need anything special. Need your book gift-wrapped? Would you like to have a gift message included? Let us know these or any other special requests by using the "Order Comments" field when you get to the checkout screen. You MUST type your instructions in “Order Comments,” even if you've talked about your order with a bookseller separately, to ensure your order is processed the way you want.

Select a payment option. We accept all major credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

Look for your double confirmation. When your order is placed, you'll receive an automatic email from our system confirming that we've received it. Then, after a bookseller has looked at your order, you'll receive a second email informing you of the status of the item(s) you've ordered. The book details and availability status on our website are updated often, but not constantly, so we recommend that you wait until you receive your second, customized confirmation email before assuming that a book is available for pickup or shipping. We will always email you with the status of your order as soon as possible.