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14 New York City Bookstores You Should Visit Before You Die

Need an NYC escape? You might as well be surrounded by books!

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3. Strand Bookstore

Flickr: Lal Beral / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: andree-debashish

With its marked down carts of cheap yet wonderful books, multiple floors, countless stacks, and a "rare book room" you don't want to miss out on the historic Strand Bookstore on the corner of 828 Broadway and 12th Street.

4. Book Culture / Via

Lucky for us Book Culture is located in two different places! You can find its lovely walls of literature at both 536 West 112th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam AND at 2915 Broadway at 114th Street! You can even stop in to write a letter (with free postage!) at their in-store letter desk.


5. McNally Jackson Books

Along with an enticing cafe selection, McNally Jackson has an enticing selection of books! They organize their literature by nation, which will probably force you to chat up their friendly staff. Interested? You can find them at 52 Prince Street

(between Lafayette & Mulberry).

6. BookCourt

Facebook: bookcourt / Via

BookCourt was established in 1981 and has been providing readers with great discounts on their favorite books for over 30 years! Located in Brooklyn on 163 Court Street (between Pacific & Dean streets), they are open EVERY DAY of the year! Including Thanksgiving and Christmas!

7. Alabaster Bookshop

Flicker: eyescorpion / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: 29210930@N05

While this little shop may not get as much action as its local competitor, (it's located around the corner from Strand) it's worth the visit! It also features low priced books outside the shop and hundreds of stacks inside — this bargain bookstore is the place to be.

8. Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

Flickr: Jurian / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: mithras

This gorgeous store wants to do more than sell books. In addition to their wide selection and cafe full of treats, Housing Works is a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Their entire operation is run by volunteers! It's so beautiful inside that people even have had their wedding there. It is located at 126 Crosby Street, in Manhattan.


9. WORD Bookstore

Flickr: *Bitch Cakes* / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: bitchcakes

Located in both Brooklyn and Jersey City, WORD is a small bookstore with a lot of personality. You can have your child's next birthday party there, or enroll in their "WORD To Your Mailbox" program which (for a fee) will send books of your favorite genre to you for a certain number of months!

10. Forbidden Planet

Calling out to all comic book and graphic novel lovers! This will be your new safe haven. Located at 832 Broadway, this store is filled with comic books, graphic novels, science fiction, toys, and associated collectibles. If this isn't your thing you may be a bit overwhelmed, but enjoy the atmosphere anyways!

11. Rizzoli Bookstore

Facebook: RizzoliBookstore / Via

Will you look at that chandelier?! Established in 1964, this incredible store has been providing New Yorkers (and travelers) with literature for nearly fifty years. While the store has a little bit of everything, it specializes in art books and the perfect book for your coffee table. It's basically the closest we're going to get to the library from Beauty and the Beast.

12. Posman Books

With three locations in Grand Central Station, Chelsea Market, and Rockefeller Center, you can easily stop by Posman Books. Their wide array of books and various events make this bookstore a pleasant place to be.


13. Left Bank Books

Flickr: Alex Abboud / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: alexabboud

This small but packed bookstore specialize in first editions! If you've been on the search for that special gift for the literary lover in your life you'll definitely want to stop by 17 8th Ave!

14. Three Lives & Co

Flicker: Holartbooks / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: 40642910@N04

This Greenwich Village bookshop is best described in an anachronism on their site:

It is the shop around the corner.

A touchstone in a neighborhood.

A place with a human face and a cast of characters.

84 Charing Cross Road colored by the time and place.

A haven for people who read.

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