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Culture

12 Of The Best Independent Bookstores In New York City

By Caitlin Horsfield

12 Of The Best Independent Bookstores In New York City
Tired of spending your money at giant online retailers like Amazon? Looking to spend local this holiday season? This list of independent book stores has got you covered for finding the perfect gift for the book worm in your family. Check it out!
1. Cafe Con Libros
@cafeconlibros_bk via Instagram
@cafeconlibros_bk via Instagram

This small book shop in Brooklyn is part feminist haven, part cafe. It’s great for chilling out with a cup of joe and a good feminist read. A fair share of events go on here as well so feminist literally lovers, take note!

Address: 724 Prospect Place, Brooklyn

More info: their website.

2. bookbook
@bookbooknyc via Instagram
@bookbooknyc via Instagram

bookbook is an independent bookstore in Greenwich Village that has a little bit of everything. From fiction, to children’s books, to cookbooks, to history, they’ve got it all. The shop has a pretty long history, opening in 1986 as “Biography Bookshop,” they eventually changed their name to bookbook when they moved locations in 2010.

Address: 266 Bleecker Street

More info: their website.

3. Strand Book Store
@strandbookstore via Instagram
@strandbookstore via Instagram

The Strand is probably the most well known independent book store in New York City. They focus on both new and used rare books and their collection spans over 18 miles of books when you put them all together!

Address: 828 Broadway

More info: their website.

4. Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers
@spoonbillbooks via Instagram
@spoonbillbooks via Instagram

Spoonbill and Sugartown bookseller have two separate locations in Brooklyn. They offer a combination of second-hand rare books as well as new books on contemporary art and philosophy as well as design.

Address: 218 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn; 99 Montrose Avenue, Brooklyn

More info: their website.

5. Albertine
@albertinebooks via Instagram
@albertinebooks via Instagram

Albertine is New York’s only bookshop dedicated to all things France. It is both a reading room and a bookshop devoted to French literature and culture with more than 14,000 contemporary and classic titles from over 30 French speaking countries. The shop is located in the official landmark Payne Whitney mansion in Manhattan, making it a particularly Instagram friendly spot with it’s hand painted constellation mural on the ceiling.

Address: 972 5th Avenue

More info: their website.

6. McNally Jackson
@mcnallyjackson via Instagram
@mcnallyjackson via Instagram

McNally Jackson is another generalist bookshop with two locations in NYC. They have events and even a book club going on quite often so make sure to check out their calendar. You can also find many different titles on sale on their website.

Address: 52 Prince Street, Manhattan; 76 North 4th Street, Brooklyn

More info: their website.

7. Revolution Books
@revbooksnyc via Instagram
@revbooksnyc via Instagram

The name pretty much says it all about this communist friendly bookshop in the Bronx. Find everything ranging from Marx to contemporary reads on communism in the 21st century.

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Address: 437 Malcom X Boulevard

More info: their website.

8. Astoria Bookshop
@astoriabookshop via Instagram
@astoriabookshop via Instagram

Astoria Bookshop is another generalist bookshop. They offer story time for kids as well as reading groups and a large selection of books for purchase online as well.

Address: 31-29 31st Street, Astoria

More info: their website

9. Bluestockings
photo: bluestockings.com
photo: bluestockings.com

Bluestockings is a collectively-owned radical bookstore run by volunteers in the Lower East Side. It’s also part fair trade cafe, and activist center. They carry over 6,000 books on topics such as feminism, capitalism, political theory, environmental studies as well as a large selection of magazines and journals.

Address: 172 Allen Street

More info: their website.

10. Codex Books
photo: facebook.com/codex
photo: facebook.com/codex

Codex is a new and used bookstore that buys and sells a bit of everything. They mainly focuses on literary fiction and art books.

Address: 1 Bleecker Street

More info: their website.

11. Word Up
@wordupbooks via Instagram
@wordupbooks via Instagram

Word Up is a community bookshop in Washington Heights. It’s a volunteer run, multilingual, generalist shop so expect a bit of everything. It’s also an art space so a good amount of exhibitions take place there throughout the year.

Address: 2113 Amsterdam Avenue

More info: their website.

12. Coming soon: The Lit. Bar

The Lit. Bar will be the only independent general bookstore in the Bronx once it opens, according to their website. Their mission is to “create a haven that inspires reading, encourages healthy social interaction, highlights diverse voices, and increases intellectual visibility in the Bronx.” Oh, and there are talks of a wine bar opening in the space too! We can’t wait to check it out.

photo: thelitbar.com
photo: thelitbar.com

Address: 131 Alexander Avenue

More info: their website.