How to Shop Online

Shop local online with your favorite bookstore. We have contactless curbside pick up, local delivery*, and shipping options for all your needs. 

Searching for Books / Inventory & Availability / Shipping, Pick-up, & Local Delivery / Taxes / Website Refund Policy / Not an ALGORITHM

Searching for Books

Find featured books on our home page or from helpful lists below:

Looking for a specific book? There is a search bar at the top of every page. Please type a title, author, or ISBN in the search box. To find what we have on hand now*, filter your search results by "in-stock."

Screenshot of search results on our website with a yellow box highlighting the In-Stock filter

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Inventory & Availability - please read carefully

Please be aware that, while we have a great number of books on the shelf, and while you have the ability to choose any book in our warehouse database of 3 million titles, we simply do not have all of those titles here in our cozy Montrose store. Our inventory levels are updated daily. The inventory status of the book will help determine the approximate time your order will take.

There are two places to find the stock status of a particular book. The first is when a page shows a list of titles and a summary of each book's individual information with the availability status below the price listed.

Screenshot of book search results with a yellow box highlighting the stock status and the availability reading "Recently on Our Shelves"

The second is when you are in a particular book's individual full information page there is a box below the add to cart button that shows its inventory status. 

Screenshot of full page book results with a yellow box highlighting the stock status and the availability reading "Recently on Our Shelves", the section of the store, and when the inventory was last updated

Recently on Our Shelves*: These books are on the shelf at Once Upon a Time in Montrose. You can choose to pick up the item at the store or we can ship it for you.

*Please note ~ For a variety of reasons, there is always a possibility that it is not on the shelf as indicated. This may include a special order placed prior to your order, a school order, or an inventory gremlin. If you need confirmation that a book is available before coming to the store, please call 818-248-9668. We'll find it and put it on hold for you.

Available to Order from Our Warehouse: This means the book IS NOT on our shelf but is readily available from one of our warehouses and can be ready for pick up or shipped to you generally within a 2-10 day time frame.  During the busy holiday season, it may take longer.

Coming Soon: These titles will soon be published and may be pre-ordered today so you will be among the first to receive them! Check out our featured pre-orders

Backordered: These titles are on order but currently unavailable. Due to supply chain delays backorders can take weeks or months. Please be cautious when ordering these titles and communicate with us if you need them by a specific deadline. 

Out-of-Print: These books are not available at any warehouse or from any publisher. The listing is merely for reference. In these cases, we recommend, which is an excellent resource for out-of-print titles.

Special Order-Subject to Availability: This means the book you selected is probably not stocked at any warehouse. Our experience shows these titles are often unavailable or may actually be out of print. We are always willing to try for you and will alert you to the book's status.  If out of print, we recommend local used bookstores, such as The Illiad Bookshop, or online used book giant

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Shipping, Pick-Up, & Local Delivery

At Once Upon A Time, we have a personal shipping policy to make your shopping experience convenient and easy with our special local bookstore flair.  We want you to be completely happy with your order and will make every effort to accommodate special requests.  Please see our standard options below.  You will receive shipping costs and delivery specifics with your order confirmation. You will be given a choice of Contactless Curbside Pick-Up, Local Delivery, Media Mail (Book Rate), or USPS Priority Mail.


Free Curbside Pick-Up

We will let you know when your order is ready for contactless pick up.  Once we have notified you, you may pick up any time during our operating hours. Please give us a call (818-248-9668 store landline) or text (818-369-9639) 10 minutes before you arrive so we can prepare your order for contactless curbside pick up. Your order will be placed in a bag with your name on it in our pick up basket in front of our door. Just pull up to a parking space in front to grab your bag. 

Free Local Delivery

Once Upon a Time offers Free Local Delivery* to local customers and families with a $20 minimum purchase. Deliveries are typically in the morning before 10 am and we will notify you the night before your book goes out.

*We will deliver only to zip codes: 91020, 91011, 91214, 91208.

Media mail: Holiday deadline is Friday, December 10th

United States ONLY

Also known as book rate, this can take anywhere between 7 to 10 business days after order processing and does not come with insurance. During the busy holiday season, it will take longer.

As of January 15th, we are offering discounted rate media mail shipping for a flat $4 fee. If you would like to help us sustain our business you may pick the helpful media rate of $6. 

USPS Priority Mail: Holiday deadline is Wednesday, December 15th

United States

The way to go if you need your order quickly. Priority mail can take between 2 to 4 days and comes with tracking and $50 insurance. 

Foreign Countries

We will work with you to find the best option for your needs, please leave a note in the customer comments section if you have any questions about international shipping.

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Taxes and Customs

Sales tax will be charged for all books picked up or shipped to California addresses except for orders made by schools and non-profit organizations that provide their tax-exempt ID number during checkout. Sales tax will also be charged on all orders shipping to New York. 

Once Upon A Time is not responsible for any customs and taxes applied to your order. All fees imposed during or after shipping are the responsibility of the customer (tariffs, taxes, etc.).

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Website Refund Policy

As of April 1st, we are enforcing a strict no returns policy on all website orders for health concerns. If you have any questions about your books, please contact us before placing your order. 

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Though this system looks automated, it is managed by a real person at Once Upon a Time. When we receive your order, we will notify you if we have to order your books - usually 1-3 business days - and again when your books are ready for pick-up or when they have shipped. If you have questions or concerns at any point, please call us (818) 248-9668 or email