In New York City, literature is a part of the cityscape as the towering skyscrapers and bustling streets. This buzzing metropolis, home to some of the greatest authors and publishers, is a haven for book lovers. The city’s vibrant literary scene is evident in its many bookstores, each offering a unique reading experience. This article takes a literary tour of the best NYC bookstores, immersing you in the city’s rich literary culture.
Nestled in the heart of Brooklyn is the enchanting bookstore Books Are Magic. This family-owned independent bookstore is committed to a welcoming, friendly, and inclusive space for everyone.
The store is the brainchild of well-known local author Emma Straub and her husband. As an author herself, Straub understands the allure a bookstore can offer to a community. The store boasts a diverse collection of new and old titles, author events, and a charming children’s book section. A unique feature of the store is the mural outside, a favorite among book enthusiasts on social media, further enhancing the bookstore’s magical ambiance.
The Strand Book Store is a literary landmark in New York City. Founded in 1927, it is a testament to the city’s rich literary history. Located near Union Square, this massive bookstore has a collection of over 2.5 million used, new, and rare books that span various genres.
The Strand is the last surviving bookstore of New York’s “Book Row,” which once housed nearly 50 bookstores on Fourth Avenue. This historic institution has withstood the test of time, providing book aficionados with a unique literary experience for over 90 years.
Albertine Books, located on the Upper East Side, is a bookstore that will leave a lasting impression on any book lover. They are nestled within the French Embassy and offers the largest collection of French-language books in the United States.
The store has over 14,000 books, selling contemporary and classic titles from 30 French-speaking countries. With its stunning interior, complete with an astrological-themed ceiling, it is not just a bookstore but an aesthetic experience.
McNally Jackson Books is an independent bookstore that has become a favorite among New York’s literati since its inception in 2004. The store, founded by Sarah McNally, offers a thoughtfully curated selection of books, including literature from around the world, organized on shelves by country.
Their staff picks are always impeccable, and the in-store café provides a cozy spot to enjoy coffee while getting lost in a good book. With multiple locations throughout the city, McNally Jackson is a must-visit on any NYC bookstore tour.
The Argosy Book Store, founded in 1925, is the oldest independent bookstore in New York City. Specializing in old, out-of-print, and rare books, Argosy is a paradise for bibliophiles. This family-owned bookstore also features an impressive collection of antique maps and prints.
The store’s vintage decor, complete with old wooden desks and green lamps, adds to the charm of this classic institution. A visit to Argosy is like stepping back in time, providing a unique opportunity to uncover the unique history within each book.
The Corner Bookstore in Carnegie Hill has been a favorite among locals since 1978. This small but charming bookstore offers a carefully selected collection of current fiction and non-fiction titles. They are known for their impressive children’s section, catering to the family-friendly area and its residents.
Greenlight Bookstore is a vibrant independent bookstore that offers a diverse collection of titles in a welcoming atmosphere. Co-founded by two women with a background in publishing, Greenlight combines their expertise to deliver the ultimate indie bookstore experience.
Their window display is a work of art, enticing readers to explore a variety of genres. Greenlight Bookstore is a testament to the power of independent bookstores in fostering a love of reading and literature in the community.
Shakespeare & Co. offers a slice of Paris in the heart of New York. Located on the Upper East Side, this bookstore shares its name with the iconic Parisian literary landmark but operates independently.
One unique feature of this bookstore is its ability to print and bind books on demand. Whether you want to grab a new title or enjoy coffee in their café, Shakespeare & Co. uniquely blends the traditional and modern bookstore experience.
If you have a penchant for design, fashion, or architecture, Rizzoli Bookstore is the place to be. This Italian-owned bookstore is renowned for its beautiful coffee table books on various subjects.
Housed in a cast iron building, the store’s interiors exude an old-world charm, with black-and-white tiled floors, painted walls, dark wood shelves, and chandeliers. Rizzoli Bookstore is not just a bookstore but a feast for the eyes and the mind.
Housing Works Bookstore is more than just a bookstore. It’s part of a non-profit organization combating AIDS and homelessness in NYC. Their bookstore contributes to the cause, with all books being donated and 100% of the profits funding their social initiatives.
With a diverse collection of books and a dedicated team of volunteers, Housing Works Bookstore is where bibliophiles can indulge their love for reading while contributing to a worthy cause.
New York City is a literary paradise; these bookstores are the cornerstones of its vibrant literary scene. Each of these best NYC bookstores offers a unique reading experience, a diverse collection of books, and a glimpse into the city’s literary heritage.
Whether you’re a lifelong New Yorker, a visitor exploring the city, or a book lover looking for your next great read, these bookstores will indeed offer an unforgettable literary adventure.
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