8 of the Best Bookstores in NYC

Books have the power to change the world. From the Bible to ‘The catcher in the Rye’, we have no choice but to acknowledge the fact that books have an influence on our lives, be it good or bad.

Those of you who are familiar with the series of novels, “A song of ice and fire”, probably know of George R.R. Martin, he American novelist who was famously quoted as saying: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, while the man who has never reads only lives once.” This is so true. The importance of reading books can never be undermined as it gives us knowledge of the things which we might have never thought of before. Whether it is for academic or literary purposes, New York City is home to some of the best bookstores in the country. Keeping that in mind, the following are some of the well-known bookstores in New York City.

Strand books nyc

credit: ricoeurian


1. Strand Book Store

Founded in 1927, Strand Book Store is often referred to as the Strand. The Strand is an independent bookstore that is located at 828 Broadway, in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. The Strand is one of New York’s most famous bookstores and its tri-level shop offers all genres including used and rare books that can satisfy the palette of any reader. The venue is also the place where you will find some of the best discounts on most of the popular titles. And events such as author nights and other children’s events are also a regular of the venue. Those who are single amongst the crowd also get find like-minded people during literary speed dating. But, you’ll have to check out their website to confirm the dates though.

2. St Mark’s Bookshop

The foundation stone of St Mark’s Bookshop was laid in 1977, and it has been serving the residents of New York City with reading fodder even since its inception. The independent bookstore is located in New York’s East Village neighborhood and also holds the title of being the oldest independent bookstore in Manhattan. Some famous past employees of the bookstore included the American poet and activist Ron Kolm and post-conceptual artist Wade Guyton. The popular indie bookstore houses plenty of books on literature, art, literary magazines and even has a whole section dedicated to anarchists.

3. Greenlight Bookstore

Greenlight is another classic independent bookstore, located in the heart of Fort Green, Brooklyn. The store has been operating since 2009 and carries a wide range of books that cover various genres. Greenlight Bookstore also has a first editions club that avid readers can subscribe to. The bookstore also produces a podcast which airs twice a week and has got quite the fan following among young readers. The bookstore also hosts daily events, and is also famous for organizing the neighborhood’s book fair.

4. Astoria Bookshop

Astoria Bookshop is one of Queens’ only independent bookstores which sell both mainstream titles along with other quirkier works. The bookstore has become the neighborhood staple when it comes to buying new books. The Astoria Bookshop is also famous for hosting regular events for the locals such as, author talks, writing workshops and book clubs.

5. Idlewild Bookshop

Idlewild Bookshop is an independent bookstore in New York City that specializes in literary works on languages and world travel. Here, you will find books on both adults and children, written in various languages, along with some useful travel guides as well. The bookstore also offers 8-week language courses for Italian, French, Spanish, Arabic and German.



6. The Community Bookstore

Located at 212 Court St., Brooklyn, The Community Bookstore lives up to the crowded, dark stereotype. The bookstore is full of some amazing books that are definitely worth the visit. Apart from that, visitors also get to join the free Frequent Buyers Club and receive $10 off on every purchase worth $100.

7. Spoonbill & Sugartown Books

Situated at 218 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, Spoonbill & Sugartown Books is the go-to bookstore for residents of Williamsburg. Apart from a pretty good collection of classic and new names the bookstore also keeps a good selection of stationery such as, letterpressed greeting cards and notebooks.


126 Franklin Street, Brooklyn is home to WORD. The small and reputable bookstore is where you will find a great selection of book, along with kid’s titles, small gifts and stationery. WORD also organizes events to suit their clientele.

So, there you have it, the best bookstores that are tucked away in the sprawling metropolis of New York City. So, don’t forget to take your reading glasses with you the next time you visit the city.

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