This quirky NYC bookstore on the LES is a pretty big dill—I mean where else can you get a jar of pickles in exchange for your used books?
Sweet Pickle Books opened up in November of 2020 by avid reader (and assumably pickle lover), Leigh Altshuler.
According to Eater, Altshuler started this venture soon after losing her job at the McKittrick hotel at the start of the pandemic. Yet, now more than a year later “part of [her] cannot remember life before Sweet Pickle Books,” shared Altshuler in a blog post.
The shop is bursting with fun and quirky energy from the adorable signs to their pickle jars tucked between books.
The seemingly uncommon combination of goods actually has an entire story behind it. Beyond influence from her Grandmother’s favorite film Crossing Delancey, where a bookseller falls in love with a pickle vendor, “pickling was a huge part of why immigrants were able to come to this neighborhood and get jobs here, supporting their families. I want to pay homage to that history, ” Altshuler told Eater.
Visitors are invited to walk into the shop and swap their used books for jars of pickles. There’s no set ratio from books to pickles, but they advise you to use your best judgement. “Don’t bring just one,” they shared on Instagram.
No appointment is needed to make the exchange, you just have to show up! You can choose from their own special line of pickles ranging from Bread & Butter Pickles, Dill Pickles, and Spicy Pickles.
As for books, the shop sells used works of fiction, nonfiction, art & photography, all the way to rare & collectibles. Sweet Pickle Books is a great spot to shop local and support physical bookstores that are sadly dwindling. However, shoppers can make purchases off of their website as well.
Where: 47 Orchard Street, New York
When: Tuesday – Sunday