Sure, sure, we don’t actually need bookstores anymore. The advent of e-readers like the Kindle, Nook, and iPad have sort of made cutting down trees a necessity of the past. But really, is there anything quite as satisfying as the feel of those dry, crisp, papery pages between your fingers? Maybe not. New York City is filled with bookstores, but here are some of the best. By Kimberly Rae Miller
The Housing Works Used Book Café
Where else can you sip a latte, buy a gently used book, and know that the proceeds of your purchases are going toward ending the battles of homelessness and AIDS. Nowhere. That’s why you should go here. Added bonus, there are all sorts of artistic happenings going on at the café on a regular basis and usually admission is based on donations.
This little gem of a bookstore is tucked away in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and in our humble opinion, is everything a bookstore should be. Inside you will find a plethora of reading material that a very knowledgeable, and even friendly, staff will help you navigate. Oh, and it’s super cozy inside. The bookstore contributes to local non-profit organizations, has an events list full of book clubs, local speakers, and children’s events. This one is worth its weight in books.
Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books
34 Carmine St.
New York, NY 10014
Gotta love a bookstore with a sense of humor. Despite the hilarity of its name, Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books is just what it claims to be. The storefront is not only un-oppressive, it’s unobtrusive, as well. In fact, you might walk right by it…but that would be a shame because this bookstore is full of books you actually want to read at prices you can actually afford to pay. If you’re on a budget, this store will be your BFF.
McNally Jackson Books
All the perks of big chain stores: yummy lattes, fully stocked shelves, comfy chairs; but none of the gimmicks, and big name pandering—this is a great independent bookstore that stocks bestsellers, but also promotes lots of books you’ve never heard of but should. If you’re looking to broaden your literary horizons this is a good place to start.
New York, NY 10003
No ‘Best of Bookshops’ list would be complete without The Strand, it’s the biggest, and certainly one of the best bookstores in New York City. Over 80 years old, not only do they have miles of books (18 to be exact) at the ready, they also buy back your used books. And who can resist the $1 bargain books at the entrance.
Of course, you could always hit up the New York Public Library, we’ve heard they have books there too!