The Best Bookstores in New York City: A Guide for Bibliophiles

Discover some amazing bookstores in NYC! From Strand Bookstore to Argosy Books - explore iconic places for bibliophiles!

The Best Bookstores in New York City: A Guide for Bibliophiles

Loved by locals and visitors alike, the Strand Bookstore is one of New York City's most iconic bookstores. It's a classic for a lot of reasons. Located near Union Square, it's always bustling with people, but perhaps the best place to find peace and quiet during the scorching summer months is on the third floor, which houses extremely rare books, some of which are behind glass. Maps, art volumes and experimental photo books by Daido Moriyama and Roni Horn are some of the options on the top floor, but the other floors (and the shelves that line the outside of the store) also sell a variety of classic books, used books and out-of-print titles.

If you're looking for something a bit more specialized, Bonnie Slotnick's cookbooks in the East Village can be your sanctuary. This store houses New York's best and widest range of cookbooks, including sold-out relics that serve to immortalize New York's important gastronomic history. Get lucky when you arrive, and you can even enjoy one of the store's fabulous tasting sessions, hosted by Bonnie Slotnick herself, with the kind of affectionate hospitality in the living room that even your mother can't muster. With old cookbooks, magazines and volumes dating back to the 18th century, visitors to Bonnie Slotnick's house could easily lose an hour or two before taking their recommendations and a map of the neighborhood to hit the road.

The Pod Hotel Brooklyn is 644 metres from Williamsburg's Music Hall and 966 metres from East River State Park in New York State Park. Pod Brooklyn offers free WiFi and concierge services. This luxury hotel in Soho is 5 minutes' walk from Washington Square Park and Little Italy. It has 24-hour concierge service and loft-style rooms.

Is it fair that a single bookstore should occupy two places on this fantastic tour of New York bookstores? Well, no, but there is no selection of used books more historically or culturally important than the famous Strand cars. But used books from The Strand don't end up in sidewalk carts. Inside, you'll also find deals on used books. There will be books of poetry by Mary Oliver used with care along with their new counterparts, but at a fraction of the cost, along with many other second-hand titles lurking around, waiting to be found, picked up and taken home.

Used books from The Strand are just one way you can enjoy New York without spending a fortune. Set aside your preconceptions about second-hand stores because Housing Works is not only a tourist destination but also a beauty. With a spiral staircase, dark wood elements, magnificent green lamps and thousands of second-hand books it's no wonder that many New Yorkers choose to rent Housing Works for their weddings - an impressive space full of donated books and staffed entirely by volunteers. If you like to accompany your books with altruism, buy a handbag knowing that 100% of the profits go to charity.

Housing Works is part of the largest community-based AIDS service organization in the country and is dedicated to eradicating AIDS and homelessness. You'll have plenty of opportunities and reasons to take selfies during a tour of New York's bookstores, but none will be more picturesque than the photo you take in front of Three Lives & Company. It's the dark merlot-dyed bricks of the building itself, the jet-black frame of the shop window and the dramatically spaced gold lettering, but most of all it's the location - flanked by rows of lush green trees on the idyllic corner of 10th Street and Waverly Place in the West Village. Michael Cunningham, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1999 for The Hours said of Three Lives that it is “one of the best bookstores on the face of the Earth”.

So take the picture and then enter to be in one of the most fantastic neighborhood bookstores in this city or any other. Possibly one of the best-hidden bookstores in New York City is Albertine Books located inside the French Embassy - it's easy to miss if you don't know how to look for it. There's no shortage of notable, charming, diverse and legendary bookstores in New York City meaning that a bibliophile could plan an entire vacation just to see and shop at all of them. In addition since most tourists don't venture that far north, customers who visit this iconic New York City bookstore are either locals or university students.

This independent bookstore in New York City is a true reflection of beautiful partnership between welcoming community and small business. If you're visiting New York City (or you also live here) I wanted to share my personal list of best independent bookstores in New York City. While experts once gleefully predicted that e-book reader would tear down humble bookstore, New York City has seen revival of literature proving that books aren't dead yet. No list of epic New York City bookstores would be complete without mentioning Argosy Books - oldest bookstore in New York City.

Inaugurated in 1978 this jewel is located in prettiest corner West Village serving as reminder old New York. And there you have it my friends: quick summary best independent bookstores in New York City. Of all great bookstores New York City has to offer you'll be hard-pressed to find friendlier staff. This two-level store one most charming spaces in New York has ever-changing selection donated books records collectibles also quiet place read or meet friends over coffee or wine.

Albertine which shares its headquarters with Institute Fine Arts at New York University favorite meeting place art students creatives alike.

Pieternel Beek
Pieternel Beek

Freelance food guru. Wannabe zombie trailblazer. Total food lover. Extreme pop culture enthusiast. Incurable web aficionado. Evil beer fan.