The Strand bookstore in New York City

A woman shops for books at The Strand in New York City. (photo credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

People of many cultures call New York home. There are few better places to learn about the unique attributes of others than by reading books. Here are some culturally rich bookstores that have free offerings for the whole family.

Bookcourt Book Store
163 Court Street
Brooklyn, New York, 11201
(718) 875.3677

Located in the trendy Cobble Hill Section of downtown Brooklyn, this store showcases books that are written by independent authors. It also has a room dedicated to children’s books and sells a variety of rare and hard-to-find books. Parents will especially enjoy the free story time for kids that they host every Tuesday at 11am.

Books in the Hood
815 Westchester Ave
Bronx, NY 10455
(347) 270-1215

Books in the Hood is a local independent bookstore that is located in the South Bronx. Focused on encouraging and uplifting members of the community, they offer free story-time readings every Saturday from 1pm – 2pm. They also host celebrations for major holidays, like Easter and Christmas. For poetry lovers, the store hosts free poetry readings every third Saturday of the month.

Everything Goes Book Cafe and Neighborhood Stage
208 Bay Street,
Staten Island, New York
(718) 447-8256

Located three blocks from the Staten Island Ferry, this bookstore is a local favorite. You can purchase new and used books, vinyl records, tape cassettes and exotic teas and take in artwork from a variety of artists. This bookstore also hosts free weekly events, including monthly book and poetry readings  and concerts by independent recording artists. Most events are free or request optional donations.

Barnes & Noble Fresh Meadows
176-60 Union Turnpike
Fresh Meadows, NY 11366
(718) 380-4340

Barnes and Noble is a well-known book chain throughout New York City. Located in every borough, this chain sells a wide variety of books. This particular branch hosts free children’s story-telling sessions, poetry workshops, free open mic nights for aspiring poets and free discussion sessions with accomplished authors.

Tamara Kelly is a blogger with Mom in the City.


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