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Our Response to Covid-19

Update: October 2020

RJ Julia Booksellers is now open from 10am-8pm Monday through Saturday and 10am-6pm on Sunday. Please come in for socially-distant browsing! Masks or face coverings are required while in the store and we request that all customers maintain social distancing standards and observe directional markings and signage.  It is possible that if the store reaches capacity, there may be a brief wait to enter the building. Thank you for your assistance in keeping both your fellow book lovers and our dedicated staff safe.

Thank you for supporting RJ Julia Booksellers.

Thank you for shopping local.

This holiday season is crucial for bookstores weathering the financial challenges of 2020, but you can make the choice to shop local. Please allow us to reinforce the conversation that we have had over the years about the impact of shopping local. As you can imagine, this year, more than ever, it matters. Small local businesses remain tied to their communities, employ local people, spend local dollars, and prosper and thrive in tandem with their community. As you begin your holiday shopping, please keep this in mind. 

The holiday shopping season can be stressful and hectic. Why not start your shopping early? For one, we could all use the distraction of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose...

 Consider our booksellers your literary, learned concierges. We are always available to assist: 

  • Phone: (203) 245-3959. Call us if you have a quick question OR call us to schedule a longer phone appointment. We can review your list and make recommendations.
  • Text: (203) 245-3959. Want us to put a copy of that new Louise Penny book on hold for you? Shoot us a quick text!
  • Email: Email us your recipient list and we will send you a list of books and gifts that link right to
  • Virtual Appointment: Now that we're all Zoom pros, shopping virtually has never been easier! Our booksellers can show you our current in-store displays including Staff Suggestions, New & Noteworthy titles, gift items, and our children's department. We promise you'll end your appointment with just the right gift. Click here to schedule a virtual appointment.
  • Shop at For a truly memorable gift, send a year-long book subscription! Click here for details.


Update: June 29, 2020

RJ Julia Booksellers is now open from 10am-5pm seven days a week and 10am-8pm on Thursdays. Please come in for socially-distant browsing! Masks or face coverings are required while in the store and we request that all customers maintain social distancing standards and observe directional markings and signage. Thank you for supporting your local independent bookstore!

Update: June 1, 2020

The staff has worked hard to rearrange the store to meet all safety protocols. We have large sneeze guards at all registers, hand sanitizer everywhere, and masks for you and our staff. We will limit the number of shoppers in the store at one time. Our merchandising team has orchestrated a genius refined layout to accommodate social distancing, but of course we still have tons to entice and charm you.

Each of us has different levels of comfort so therefore we have every which way for you to get the books you must read, the gifts you must get, and the browsing you must do.

  • Beginning Tuesday, June 2, the store will be open daily for in-person shopping from 12-5pm. We will have numbered shopping baskets by the front door. If there is a basket available, please pick one up and come in! If a basket is not available, that might mean a short wait until someone leaves and we sanitize the basket. Please enter through the front door of the brick building and exit out the front door on the gift side of the store. Our staff and directional markings on the floor will assist you!
  • For those of you who want to browse, but not in the store, we have virtual browsing available, which means your very own personal bookseller will “walk” with you through the store (using Zoom). Appointments can be made by choosing a time from the calendar on our website. You can then pick up everything curbside or we can ship your order. In addition, virtual appointments with our gifts department will begin the week of June 8.
  • We have a “walk-up window” at the back of the store for picking up orders that have been completed online, by email, or phone. (My dream was always a drive-up window—who knew it would become so important?!) If it is not possible for you to come to the window, we offer curbside delivery to your car (call us upon your arrival).
  •  Our website is open 24 hours a day! You can set up an account and store your credit card details and address, so it is all very quick. It's easy to indicate if you want your order shipped or to be picked up. Please know that we are always working to improve the user experience on our website to make it as wonderful as possible.
  •  If listening to books is more appealing than ever, our partner has everything you could need or want.
  •  If you want us to choose books for you based on your personal tastes, sign up for Just the Right Book, our personalized book of the month program. Some of our readers have used this service for years, either for themselves or as gifts. It is the perfect surprise. As hundreds and hundreds of notes and letters have said, “Wow, I would never have picked that book and it was Just the Right Book!"

As we embark on yet another new normal, it is gratitude we have first and foremost. Your support and loyalty over these months has been critical, appreciated, and heartwarming. We are all tiptoeing into the future. The level of uncertainty and the enormity of the losses can feel overwhelming. With your commitment and enthusiasm, we will move through this. As always, we have ideas for books to help you cope, learn, and be entertained. In the meantime, we miss you and can't wait to see you!

Pitching In!

With your help, we're making free books available to children and families throughout New Haven and Bridgeport. We've partnered with Read to Grow to distribute books in both cities at school lunch pickups and food pantries. You can learn more, share a gift, or get involved here. Thanks to Publisher's Weekly for this great feature about the program!

Staying Social (Distancing)

We have created a dynamic schedule of videos, posts, and newsletters that share our current and favorite staff suggestions, recommendations for books that respond to your mood of the moment, and storytelling and activities for children—stay tuned for details and be sure to follow us on social media so you don't miss a thing: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter


We have cancelled all in-store events but be sure to check out our Virtual Events Schedule! If you purchased tickets to an event, you will receive an additional communication with further details specific to that event.


Of course, our store is being disinfected daily by cleaning services, as well as hourly by our staff. Staff is following CDC requirements regarding handwashing and hygiene. Our staff members will NOT come to work if they’re ill, and we ask that you refrain from visiting us in person to pick up orders if you are ill.

Stay Informed

We provide updates through our mailing list. Feel free to subscribe below or check out our most recent newsletters.

Additional Resources

Candlewick Press has published free, downloadable books for children to help explain Coronavirus.

“An elegant, effective work. Download this now, read it immediately, share it with everyone you know.” — School Library Journal (starred review)

This informative and accessible guide for young readers defines the coronavirus, explains why everyday routines have been disrupted, and lays out how everyone can do their part to help. With child-appropriate answers and explanations, the book addresses several key questions.

The creators of the New York Times-bestselling series The Princess in Black - Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, and LeUyen Pham - have created a child-friendly coronavirus public service announcement called The Princess in Black and the Case of the Coronavirus. In Shannon's own words:

“LeUyen, Dean, and I are all parents self-isolating at home with our children. The anxiety and distancing is hard enough on our older kids, but we know that younger kids might be having an even harder time. We hoped that it’d help if a familiar book friend like the Princess in Black talked them through it. Even the Princess in Black is staying home! Even Princess Sneezewort had to cancel playdates! LeUyen had the idea of creating a short comic to download and share widely so caregivers could have an extra tool for talking to kids. Our goal is both to help kids understand what’s going on and to help them feel less alone.”