Just about everybody agrees on the fact that books have the ability to change the world, (that is, the well written ones at least!). New York City is considered as one of the most literary places on the planet, so naturally one would find plenty of independent bookstores where they can buy their favorite books. We’ve combed the city and have come up with our own list of the best used bookstores in New York, and here they are.
by James Long
1. Word Up Community Bookshop
Located on 2113 Amsterdam Avenue, Upper Manhattan, Word Up Community Bookshop is basically a volunteer effort and is run by various local organizations who have put together one of the best selection of books one would find in the English and Spanish languages, along with some very impressive rotating art exhibitions as well. A definite visit for book lovers in New York City.
2. Unnameable Books
The interestingly named Unnameable Books is located at 600 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn. The famous bookstore sells both new and used books and is a great place to go to find works of the lesser known, but talented authors. The store has a great selection of books on philosophy, poetry and fiction along with many other genres. There are also carts outside the store where you can find overstock books for around a dollar.
3. Strand Book Store
Located on famous 828 Broadway is the Strand Book Store which is by far one of the best used book stores in the city…nay, the country. This bookstore opened its doors back in 1927 and has been the favorite when it comes to buying used books in New York City ever since. While there are plenty of book store within close proximity of the Strand, they don’t come close to the variety available at this bookstore. There’s a reason why this book store uses the tagline “18 miles of books.” The Strand has three floors of books from almost every genre you can think of along with many works from up and coming authors. If you have a book you can’t find any place else, you are definitely going to find it here.
4. Book Thug Nation
This book store was started by four friends who used to sell books on the sidewalk. The bookstore also doubles as a community space at 100 North 3rd Street, Williamsburg. Apart from having a great name, the book store is also home to some of the best literary works you could find in the city. The store’s strong suit is that even though it is about the size of a living room, it boasts of an impressive collection of books from genres such as, poetry, philosophy, history, fiction and pulps.
5. Housing Works Bookstore Café
Located at 126 Crosby Street, Housing Works Bookstore Café is a cool place to browse for books from your favorite authors or just listen to some of your favorite writers (the ones who are living) talk about their craft and who their journey as a writer all began. This Soho institution is also famous for its workshops, book clubs and game nights. So, if you’re looking to have an interesting experience while trying to find works by your favorite authors this bookstore should be right up your alley.
These were the best of the best when it comes to used book stores in New York City. So, make sure you pay them a visit if you’re really devoted to books but financial constraints often hold you back.