Store closure & online ordering FAQ

Thank you for your support! We have received a tremendous show of support from our community, which has led to a bit of a backup in order processing. As well, many publishers and postal carriers are facing their own internal delays. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work safely to serve you efficiently. 


In order to focus on getting your holiday orders pulled and packed as swiftly as possible, we have decided to turn off our phones for the time being. We are diligently monitoring our voicemail (773-752-4381) and our email, so please leave or send a message, and we will respond within one to two business days. We apologize for any inconvenience caused, but we sincerely feel that this will allow us to reach our shared goal--to get books to you as quickly as possible!


We’ve compiled a few frequently asked questions below. If your question is still not answered by these responses, please write to or leave a voicemail at 773-752-4381 and we will reply to your inquiry within one to two business days.


Thank you again for everything you are doing on behalf of the Seminary Co-op community. It means so much to us.


With gratitude,

The Seminary Co-op and 57th Street Books



How do I order books from you?

The easiest way to order books from us is right here on the website. Search by ISBN (without any hyphens!), author, or title to find just what you're looking for. Or you can browse through our holiday guides, Front Table booklets, 2020 Notables, newsletter archives (kids and adults), and featured new releases to stumble upon new reads. 


If you are having trouble navigating our website, do send us an email or leave a voicemail (773-752-4381), and we will get back to you in one to two business days.


When will my order arrive? Will my coursebooks arrive before my assignment is due? 

We are currently (and joyfully) working through a long line of orders and are processing them as quickly as possible. USPS, FedEx, and UPS are also facing their own internal delays. At the moment, we are unable to give precise estimates on fulfillment times, though we will let you know as soon as your order ships from our stores or is available for curbside pickup. If you haven't heard from us yet, we are still processing your order and won't yet be able to provide much more information. All coursebook orders are processed within 24 to 48 hours of receipt. If you need your books by a certain date, we suggest you select UPS Ground, local delivery (if available in your zip code), or curbside pickup to decrease the chances of delay.

My tracking number just says, "Shipping label created, USPS awaiting item,” and it’s been stuck there for several days. Has it shipped? 

We've noticed that USPS is not often scanning their tracking labels. That means that tracking numbers often link to a message saying, "Shipping label created, USPS awaiting item." Unfortunately, this bit of the process is totally out of our hands. We can assure you that shipments leave the store within 24 hours of label creation and that the package is on its way to you. Postal carriers are also experiencing delayed shipping times, meaning that arrival dates may be later than you are used to. 

My tracking number indicates that the package has been in the same postal facility for many days. Is it lost? 

USPS, FedEx, UPS, and the publishers themselves are all experiencing their own delays and service interruptions, working hard to meet increased shipping demand while also adhering to strict distancing and health measures. This has led to much slower delivery than we are all used to. Unfortunately, we simply don't have any further information about a possible arrival time. As an intended recipient, you can certainly fill out a missing mail form here, asking the postal service to open up an investigation.   

I only received part of my order. When will the rest arrive?

In order to expedite processing, we are shipping out books as they are available. That means that your shipment may be split between two or more packages, though your shipping charge will not increase. We assure you that the rest of your order will be on its way as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

If I select expedited shipping, does that guarantee that my order will arrive by a specific date?

Mail carriers across the board are experiencing their own internal delays as they work to keep staff and customers safe. Combining that with the supply chain disruptions from the publisher on down, we cannot guarantee arrival of a shipment by a certain date.


Are you shipping internationally? 

Yes, we are. Please be advised that international orders are taking longer to ship than you may be used to.

Are you doing curbside pickup or local delivery? 

Yes, we are doing both! You can find further information about curbside here and about delivery here. Curbside pickup is available on all orders, and delivery is available to addresses with zip codes 60615, 60637, 60616, 60653, and 60649.

Can I order a particular book? 

Purchasing via is the primary way we are processing orders at the moment. If you are having trouble locating a certain title, try searching by the 13-digit ISBN, without any hyphens.    

Can I use my University of Chicago research account? 

Yes, you can use your University of Chicago research account. Please select the payment option “UChicago Research Account or Gift Card.” In the comment field of the order, specify that you are using your U of C research account.

What is your return policy? 

Winter quarter University of Chicago coursebooks are fully returnable through Monday, January 18. After that, coursebooks are eligible for return within 48 hours of purchase. Non-coursebooks are returnable for 30 days from purchase date. Books must be returned in the same condition as when they were purchased. Refunds will be issued via the original payment method used.