Temporarily Closed

Bell’s Books Store is temporarily closing its doors due to poor air quality from wildfires in the region. Since we currently keep our doors open during regular business hours, we feel it is better for everyone’s safety to avoid any excess exposure to these potentially harmful particles from the fires.

We will keep you updated as the situation develops.

Thank you for your patience in this matter.


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New Hours

Greetings, Avid Readers!

As of Wednesday, August 19th, Bell’s Books will be open 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. six days a week.

We will be closed on Tuesdays.


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Phew! Finally…

Hooray! After a long hiatus, Bell’s Books is ready to open its doors to the public again!

Well…it was clearly time to shake up our layout, so we took this opportunity to widen our aisles, clean those corners, and dig out hidden treasures to share with you. Come see the changes and say hello to old friends! In celebration of Bell’s Books turning 85, we welcome you back.

We will be open (with all Covid precautions in place) this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 7th through the 9th from 11 to 4.

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Another month, another update

Hello friends!

We are still working to get the store ready for you, and we are very, very close. We are cleaning up the last few sections, making sure we have signs posted and hand sanitizer by the door, and getting used to our new layout. We are so looking forward to welcome you all back in! Thank you for your patience during this time.

We will have health protocols in place when we reopen, just like any other business should. Here’s what to expect:

  1. Face coverings will be required to enter the store. Your nose and mouth must be covered.
  2. We will ask everyone to maintain six (6) feet of distance between each other while browsing. Our new layout will make it much easier for staff and customers alike to be physically distant.
  3. Hand sanitizer will be provided at the door. Since we cannot clean 300,000 books at the end of everyday, your use of hand sanitizer will help us keep everyone healthy.

We thank you ahead of time for following these procedures to keep everyone healthy!

At this time we do not have a specific date for reopening. As soon as we know, we will announce it clearly here on our website as well as over on our Instagram.

See you soon!

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Things Are Changing at Bell’s!

A huge hello to all of the wonderful people out there! We hope you are all doing well, staying healthy, keeping informed. We are thinking of you, and we are grateful to all of you who have been thinking of us.

Staff have been in the store for about three weeks now doing a major overhaul of the layout of the main room. We want to make sure that our space will be safe for browsing in person (plus it was a good opportunity to make some long-wished-for changes). After 85 years, everyone could use a little TLC, and Bell’s is no different.

Therefore, we are still CLOSED, but only temporarily. We WILL be back soon! At this point, we are expecting to reopen in July with a fresh new look.

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Hello to all you good folks sheltering in your homes.

Although we at Bell’s Books would love to supply you with books during your home stay, in the interests of universal safety we feel it is important to spare warehouse fulfillment workers, postal carriers, store staff, and, ultimately you, by simply ceasing operations temporarily. All of our staff members are staying home, with full pay, and are in good health. We wish you the same, and miss getting to see you. Here’s to a brighter future.

We will be giving out awards to those of you who read the most books, and the quirkiest books during this time, so keep a list!

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Stuck at Home?

Why not read?!

To comply with recommendations from Governor Newsom and The Centers for Disease Control, Bell’s Books will be closed from March 16th until further notice..  We will miss seeing you!

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The Monster, Moonshine Theory, and the Algebra of Lie

Lie (pronounced “Lee”) algebra, monster sets, and moonshine theory are but a few of the topics that Bell’s Books has recently acquired as part of a generous collection of advanced mathematics books. Finite simple groups and their interaction with modular functions, monster group M (also known as the “friendly giant”), and smooth manifolds are another of way of describing some of the topics, but there may yet be some mathematical moonshine in that monster!

Come in and see for yourself if you’d like to take on the challenge of these and a manifold of other advanced mathematical issues.

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Happy Holidays from Bell’s Books!

It’s not too late to find something special for the book lover in your family.

Here are a few ideas:

How about Where the Wild Things Are socks for little feet, or perhaps a Where the Wild Things Are mug?

Bell’s also has a signed copy of The French Lieutenant’s Woman from the Franklin Press in a very decorative binding.










There’s also Smuggler’s Cove, a book full of tropical drink recipes from San Francisco’s own nationally-recognized adult libation establishment.

These are just a few of the many treasures you may find here at Bell’s Books, the only bookstore in downtown Palo Alto.



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We Make It Easier for You

Need your holiday books giftwrapped? We can do that! We’ll wrap your Bell’s purchases free, and we have a beautiful variety of paper from which to choose.

Little known secret: Bell’s has free giftwrapping all year round.

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