Beyond the Strand

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Looking to pick up some summer reading?  The woman at the desk of Partners and Crime, in the East Village, told Bwog reporter Emma Jacobs that Manhattan’s bookshop scene’s just not what it used to be–but we didn’t believe her.  You can still find some of the best bookshops around hanging in on Manhattan to serve every taste.  Click here for a map of the bookshops, and happy browsing!

jgjThree Lives & Co.

154 West 10th Street, Greenwich Village

Wooden shelves and red brick.  This one’s a classic, traditional bookshop in a cozy space in the West Village.

Unoppressive, Non-Imperialist Bargain Books

34 Carmine Street, West Village

In an incredible corner of the Village, you’ll find amazing prices on remainders focused around politics and art.  Children’s bookshop is next door.  Also, the name is awesome.

Housing Works Used Bookstore Café

126 Crosby Street, Soho

Beautiful Soho space sells used books and coffee, with proceeds going to help homeless New Yorkers living with AIDS.  Great monthly concert series too.

Partners & Crime

44 Greenwich Ave

This place has exclusive mysteries and detective novels.  The staff know their stuff inside and out.

Alabaster Bookshop

122 4th Avenue, East Village

Another small-scale classic with used books and rare titles.  It has a cat and amazing bargain carts outside.

Slotnick Bonnie Cookbooks

163 W 10th St , West Village

A bookstore for you cooks and gourmands with lots of hard to find vintage cookbook titles you never knew you’d missed.

Shakespeare & Co.

716 Broadway Frnt, Greenwich Village

939 Lexington Ave, Midtown East

137 E 23rd St, Gramercy Park

There’s more than one, and they’re all adorable.

McNally Robinson Booksellers LLC

50 Prince Street, Little Italy

To be honest, this place is a little blander, but the selection is good and it has a teahouse.  Who doesn’t love a teahouse?

St. Mark’s Bookshop

31 Third Avenue, East Village

A little like Labyrinth, an academic place, but with an especially great collection for starving artists.

The Mysterious Bookshop

58 Warren Street, Tribeca

Surprised that one mystery bookshop can make it?  Well, there’s another.

Drama Bookshop

250 W. 40th St., Midtown

For more dramatic tastes, offers a collection of sheet music, plays and movie scripts.

Forbidden Planet

840 Broadway, off Union Square

A bookstore of comic books, graphic novels and assorted supplies to realize your personal geekdom.

Urban Center Books

457 Madison Ave, Midtown       

Architecture and design bookstore of the Municipal Art Society.

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  1. You forgot  

    Westsider Books at 80th and Bway. Adorable little used bookstore that's actually close to Columbia.

    Also, RIP Ivy's Books and Murder Ink.

    • Armin Rosen

      Westsider's a classic black hole of bookstore--if you wander in there's a pretty good chance you may never find your way out. They also convert vinal records and tapes to CDs and VHS to DVD.

  2. hello  

    this is a great list btw, thanks bwog

  3. nice

    list. there's a cool little bookshop on bedford in w'burg that I forget the name of, too.

    interesting fact- mcnally robinson's original (and only other) location is in western canada somewhere - like calgary or winnipeg. it was a big gamble for them to open in NYC.

  4. Also

    Let's not forget NYU's equivalent of the Broadway booksellers, who hang out on West 4th between Mercer and Washington Square East -- a good bit better than CU's (I'm sad to admit it), and with lots of pencil-marked as-is books for two bucks. It makes up for the high prices at Think.

  5. Good stuff

    Thanks Bwog.

  6. What if  

    What if we aren't interested in "adorable" bookstores with teahouses?

  7. Barnes & Noble

    Barnes & Noble


    Both very good and lots of locations nationwide

    • capitalist

      borders and b&n are great, but still better is it's got a larger selection than any other bookseller in the world, and you'll save valuable time, which you could even spend actually reading books! plus, with user reviews and amazon recommendations, you can choose things you actually want to read rather than leaving things to hazard.

      • who said  

        Who said that going to bookstores had anything to do with reading books?

        • bookstore

          a store where books are sold."

          Books are primarily sold to be read.

          Going to a bookstore has to have at least something tangentially to do with reading books, since it would not exist otherwise. Even if nobody who bought any of the books there read them, the books themselves would still have been printed because people read books.

  8. you forgot

    Biography Bookshop, 400 Bleecker St.

    All books are new and nearly half-price.

  9. floretbroccoli  

    Don't forget Kitchen Arts & Letters on the upper east side. Best cookbook store in town. The owner, Nach Waxman, is revered by chefs all over the world.

  10. oh no you didn't  

    you forgot 192 books on 10th & 21st?! (

  11. capitalist

    bwog said "Looking to pick up some summer reading?"

    and in any case, i think it's fair to assume that people go to bookstores to buy books.

    • Erm.  

      The question, I guess, then, is "what do you do with all the time you save, if you don't enjoy actually going to physical places and experiencing things?"

      • capitalist

        i never said that i "don't enjoy actually going to physical places and experiencing things".

        perhaps you're asking what i do with all the time i save through buying books on rather than going to physical bookstores?

        the answer to that question is... i read books.

  12. anonymity

    (this is not in ref to these particular comments, but to bwog comments in general):
    soo true

  13. also

    Don't forget Skyline Books (W. 18th b/t 5th and 6th Ave.) -- used books, including great back issues of old quarterlies, and, last time I was there, an actual First of Lolita (Olympia Press, 2 vols.), in a glass case.

  14. Who, me?

    Spoonbill and Sugartown.

  15. one more

    bluestockings books on allen st. anarchist, alternative bookstore. they have great events too!

  16. Columbia Bookstore

    Have you seen this place? Very convenient to campus dwellers, it's right on 115th and Broadway.

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