Fresh, hot pizza comes right to your door.

Why not fine literature, cookbooks, computer manuals, whodunits, volumes of history and just about any book you want?In the face of tough trends that have wiped out other small bookstores in the area -- and the nation -- Sam Weller's Books has hit upon a creative way to serve its customers and keep its niche in the bookselling arena.

The store has dramatically expanded its home delivery service and recently began promoting the change. Delivery is free for purchases of $20 or more; it costs $2 for book deliveries under $20 in value.

"We've actually been doing deliveries for 30 years or more, but we thought, based on some of our downtown problems and following the closure of our south end store (in Sandy), we'd expand our delivery service," said owner Tony Weller.

"We've expanded our boundaries and cover a considerably larger area from 40th West to the east bench and from 106th South to 17th North. If you do the math, that's over 200 square miles."

Weller said the store also has added to its delivery schedule, sending out books six days a week instead of the previous three.

However, in the interest of efficiency, the city was divided into two zones. The northern part gets deliveries on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while the southern part gets books delivered Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The delivery program has long served elderly and home-bound book lovers, but it also has become favored by businesses whose employees know exactly what titles they want and who need to save time.

Weller maintains that his service not only can save time for readers but, in many cases, also can save them money.

"These days, people are buying things off the Net with the illusion that it might be cheaper, but it isn't," Weller said.

Even if someone gets a 20 percent discount by buying books off a Web site, the postage costs could eat up savings, he said.

Sam Weller's Books, which under Tony Weller is in its third generation of family ownership, has faced plenty of obstacles in recent years.

Independent bookstores nationwide are facing fierce competition from giant national chains, such as Borders Books and Barnes & Noble, as well as Internet booksellers like

Store owners said such competition has played a part in the recent closures of three local independent bookstores, including the Sam Weller's shop in Sandy, Waking Owl Books near the University of Utah and A Woman's Place Bookstore in Foothill Village.

Also, many people still think Main Street is a disaster area. Even though the light-rail construction is essentially done and the street is open, some readers have altered their shopping habits and avoid downtown.

Sam Weller's Books ran big promotional ads about its expanded delivery service in local newspapers on Sunday, but Weller said it is too early to tell if the change will make a difference.

Still, he said, it is worth trying something new to keep the store going strong.

"We didn't want to sit on our hands while the environment was changing," Weller said. "If somebody knows what books they want, this works quite nicely."