The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic will have a large impact on the publishing industry. This research aims to investigate the influences of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, utilitarian and hedonic motivations on consumer intention to buy books online. It conceptualizes the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as situational influences, which involve the closure of physical bookstores, health risks associated with visiting such stores, online shopping trend and additional marketing efforts from online bookstores during the pandemic. Data were collected from 275 Vietnamese consumers using an online survey. Multivariate data analysis reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic situation has a positive and significant impact on consumer intention toward online book shopping. Furthermore, while utilitarian motivation exerts a strong effect on consumer intention to purchase books online, the relationship between hedonic motivation and online purchase intention is positive but insignificant. These findings would assist key stakeholders such as publishers and online bookstores to improve the quality of their websites as well as develop their marketing campaigns.