Bookstores in New York City (Manhattan)
29 Aug 2014
If you are downloading this, note that Brooklyn, Queens, and
Staten Island are in another file.
Uptown Manhattan (60th to 207th Streets)
Midtown Manhattan (24th to 59th Streets)
Downtown Manhattan (Battery to 23rd Streets)
other geographic areas
[Note 0: These lists were started thirty years ago, before search engines,
Yelp, and so on. Because those are now available, these listings will
include only places that are noteworthy, or have substantive descriptions,
or have been visited by me. Old "minimalist" listings will remain as long
as the stores are open, but no new "minimalist" entries will be added.]
[Note 1: Boroughs other than Manhattan are listed, but are in a
separate file. Further listings are welcome. Note that my indication
of cross-streets may be off by a street or two--some I did from maps
and the numbers are hard to read.]
[Note 2: I collected these comments from a variety of people. I
personally have no knowledge of many of these places and take no
responsibility if you buy a book you don't enjoy. :-) Phone numbers
and precise addresses can be gotten by calling directory assistance at
212-555-1212 for Manhattan, or 718-555-1212 for the Bronx, Queens,
Brooklyn, and Staten Island--assuming anyone ever reports any
bookstores in Staten Island (or should it be *on* Staten Island?).
Call ahead for precise hours, as even when I list them they are
subject to change.]
[Note 3: If you can add information for any of these, in particular
addresses when they are missing, please send it to me. *PLEASE SPECIFY
CITY AND STATE.*]
[Note 4: Area codes change so quickly these days that these may be
[Note 5: The following were listed but are now closed: Dover Books;
Dog Lovers Bookshop (Internet only); the Science Fiction Shop; Science
Fiction, Mysteries & More; Photographer's Place; Coliseum. Also,
Forbidden Planet is still around but carries hardly any books (though
they do carry graphic novels. I list these here because people keep
asking about them.]
Working south through Manhattan:
Uptown Manhattan (60th to 207th Streets):
Libreria Moria (628 W 207, 212-304-2197)
Word Up (2113 Amsterdam at 165th, http://wordupbooks.wordpress.com/
Sisters Uptown (1942 Amsterdam Ave btwn 156th & 157th, 212-862-3680).
African-American literature. Mon-Fri 8AM-7PM, Sat 10AM-7PM.
Hue-Man Books (2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd, 10027, 212-665-7400,
FAX 212-665-1071, http://www.huemanbookstore.com)
Carries over 5000 African American titles and known for weekly
celebrity signings. [12/07]
Teachers College Bookstore (1224 Amsterdam at 120th, 212-678-3992,
Children's books (first phone number) and classroom materials
and teachers' books (second phone number).
Columbia Univ. Bookstore (Barnes & Noble) (2980 Broadway at 115th,
The usual Barnes & Noble selection as well as textbooks for
courses at Columbia. Higher prices than many other stores,
but a very large selection, even for B&N. The downtown
store has some textbooks used at NYU. Mon-Thu 9AM-6:45PM,
Fri 9AM-4:45PM, Sat 11AM-4:45PM, Sun 12N-4:45PM (hours
change due to school being in/out of session)
Book Culture (212-865-1588; 2915 Broadway at 114th, 646-403-3000;
A scholarly bookstore. Mon-Fri 9AM-11PM, Sat 10AM-11PM,
Sun 10AM-10PM. [05/12]
Book Culture (536 W 112th btw Amsterdam and Broadway,
A scholarly bookstore. Mon-Fri 9AM-10PM, Sat 10AM-8PM,
Sun 11AM-7PM. [05/12]
Bank Street College Bookstore (610 W 112th at Broadway, 212-678-1654,
FAX 212-316-7026, http://www.bankstreetbooks.com)
Education and academic; also children's books. "Equal to the
West Side Barnes & Noble on hardcover picture books, better on
softcover; probably smaller stock on chapter books, almost no
series." [Closing in February 2015.] Mon-Thu 10AM-8PM,
Fri-Sat 10AM-6PM, Sun 12N-5PM. [03/14]
Funny Business (656 Amsterdam btwn 92nd & 93rd, 212-799-9477)
Comic books. Smallish. Mon-Fri 1PM-6PM, Sat-Sun 12N-5PM.
Kitchen Arts & Letters, Inc. (1435 Lexington Ave at 93rd, 212-876-5550)
Quoting from their brochure: "the country's largest store
devoted completely to books on food and wine. With well over
10,000 cooking titles and access to thousands of out-of-print
titles through our free search service..." Mon 1PM-6PM,
Tue-Fri 10AM-6:30PM, Sat 11AM-6PM. Closed Saturdays in July
and August and for two weeks around Labor Day. Call ahead to
be on the safe side.
The Corner Bookstore (1313 Madison Ave at 93rd, 212-831-3554)
They specialize in children's books and travel books, but they
also have a film connection: not only is this the bookstore
where Nick Nolte found the "Renata Halpern" children's book in
THE PRINCE OF TIDES, it's also just one block south of the red
brick fortress/castle facade featured in THE FISHER KING.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Shop (1071 5th Ave btwn 88th & 89th,
West Side Judaica (2412 Broadway btwn 88th & 89th, 212-362-7846)
From a quick perusal, a store of substance, but also one with a
sense of humor as their seasonal menorah display in the window
includes one that has Claymation-like dreidels playing jazz.
Mon-Thu 10:30AM-7:30PM, Fri 10:30AM-2PM, Sun 10:30AM-6PM.
Barnes & Noble Books (150 E 86th at Lexington, 212-369-2180)
Super-store. "A huge bookstore with a lovely decor, desks for
reading, a knowledgeable staff, and a well-stocked (and
well-laid-out) selection, this store is an absolute pleasure.
Kudos to B&N on this one." Discounts NYT best sellers and most
East West Books (568 Columbus north of 86th, 212-787-7552)
Stocks books on Buddhism, Taoism, Sufism, Indian Religions; also New
Age, self-improvement, health and healing. Cards, jewelry, audio
tapes, incense. Good-sized stock. (Also has a downtown store.)
Logos (1575 York Ave btwn 83rd and 84th,
35-40% religious (Christian).
Crawford Doyle Booksellers (1082 Madison Ave, 212-288-6300). "They
specialize in literature, but offer a lot of everything else.
Beautiful, quiet, independent, no coffee. The way a store should
be. Check out the wonderful collection of first editions (from the
likes of Nabokov)."
Barnes & Noble Books (2289 Broadway at 82nd, 212-362-8835)
A superstore with cafe. One of the first in Manhattan, it was
probably responsible for the demise of Eeyore. Seven days 9AM-10PM.
Metropolitan Museum of Art Museum Store (5th Ave & 82nd, 212-570-3726)
They have neat art books, posters, engagement calendars, videos,
Book Store of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute (247 E 82nd btwn 3rd &
2nd Ave, 212-772-8282)
Westside Books (2246 Broadway btwn 80th & 81st, 212-362-0706)
They have a nice selection of used books, and will do active
searches. Enormous literature and history sections. Has charm.
The recently expanded new store is on Broadway and is new and shiny;
the old store used to be around the corner (at 246 W 80th off
Broadway) but is apparently closed now. The Gryphon is probably one
of the world centers for Wizard of Oz books. "This place was
crammed with books, but there were so many people crammed in there
too (not to mention the German shepherd tied to the staircase) that
I didn't feel encouraged to stick around and browse." "OK, but too
expensive." (They do have frequent sales.) They also have LPs.
Sun-Sat 10AM-12M. [07/05]
American Museum of Natural History Book Store (in the Museum; Central
Park West at 79th, 212-769-5531)
No guarantees, but they used to have an interesting selection of
books on nature and natural history. The Hayden Planetarium
(adjacent to the Museum) has its own bookstore, specializing in
astronomical and space science stuff.
Storyland (1369 3rd Ave at 78th, 212-517-6951)
A comparatively well-stocked toddler's and children's bookstore.
Notable for helpful staff, good young reference, science, fiction,
and classical books. It is quite clean.
Ursus Books Ltd. (981 Madison btwn 76th & 77th, 212-772-8787,
New and out-of-print art books and catalogues. "A repository of the
truly fine and the outrageously hard-to-find in books on the work of
artists (corpus). There are some few brilliant elucidations on
approaching the materia with which art is forged. The collection on
personae and period has real depth and breadth--evermore an
accomplishment for such a select vineyard, but the champagne-like
elan everywhere dripping is as rarified in its occurance as it is in
its expense." [This apparently means their art books are book art,
and their selection is a collection.] (Also has a downtown
Whitney Museum of American Art Bookstore (945 Madison Ave btwn 74th &
The Judaica Experience (208-10 W 72nd, phone/FAX 212-724-2424)
A very good collection of Judaica and good children's books and
tapes. They sell primarily gifts, books, and tapes. The owners are
very helpful and attentive. Their prices seemed to match or was
cheaper (for gifts) than West Side Judaica, and they will wrap and
ship via UPS. Weird hours (in one person's opinion) so call ahead.
Asia Store (Asia Society Book Shop) (725 Park Ave near 72nd, 212-327-9217,
FAX 212-517-8315, http://www.asiasociety.org/)
Asian history and literature.
Courtly Music (2067 Broadway btwn 71st and 72nd, suite 27 (on the second
floor--not well-labeled on the door), 800-2-RICHIE)
"The focus is on early music, and they have books, instruments,
tapes (I don't recall if they have LPs or CDs), instruction tapes
and books, and give lessons. I saw someone behind the desk wrapping
something, so it looks like they will do mail order. The staff
seemed knowledgeable, and xeroxed off a sheet for my friend of local
branches of the American Recorder Society for him to contact. All
in all a nice shop." Tue-Sat 9:45AM-5:45PM.
Ex Libris (160A E 70th btwn Lexington & 3rd Aves, 212-249-2618)
Out of print and rare 20th Century art books. Mon-Fri 10AM-5PM,
Shakespeare & Co. (939 Lexington between 68th and 69th, 212-570-0201, FAX
Mon-Fri 10AM-8PM, Sat 10AM-7PM, Sun 10AM-5PM.
The Magazine Store (Broadway & 63rd, 212-247-4766)
Carries foreign-language periodicals.
Mary S. Rosenberg Bookstore (1841 Broadway, room 907, really on 60th a
couple of doors west of Broadway, 212-307-7733)
German-language books. Many used and new hardcover titles in
literature, philosophy. Books stacked all over, but navigable once
you figure out the basic layout. Supposedly a large stock in a
warehouse available on request, but not much stock on hand.
Midtown Manhattan (24th to 59th Streets):
? (2nd Ave bwtn 59th & 60th at the Manhattan terminal of the aerial
tramway to Roosevelt Island)
A small, good weather outdoors stall. There are similar
displays at the NW corner of 5th Ave and 60th (near Central
Park entrance). The actual booksellers can change with time.
Morton Book Parlor (989 3rd Ave at 59th, 212-421-9025)
Large selection of books on architecture and design.
Argosy (116 E 59th btwn Park & Lexington Aves, 212-753-4455,
They are very strong in used hardcover fiction, particularly older
things from say circa 1920, like James Branch Cabell. They also
sell old prints, Americana, antique and used books, maps, and
prints. People have noted that the owners are knowledgeable about
the value of their books and you'll have to hunt for bargains.
(Someone says the best place is in the basement.) It is about
five stories high and is one of those books-stacked-up-the-walls-to-
the-ceiling places; dim, musty, dense, mysterious. "The fifth floor
has the best Americana section in new York." You get the feeling
that you could find anything at all there if you only looked long
enough. "Argosy Books was the highlight of my trip. They had a
nice selection of Science Fiction books on hand. The category was
not huge by any means but what they had was quality stock and priced
only a little above average. I bought a handful of books from them.
The store owner was pleasant and answered all my questions even
though I was most likely not her biggest spender of the day."
Mon-Sat Oct-May, Mon-Fri Jun-Sep. [02/06]
Potterton Books (979 3rd Ave, D&D Building, 10022, 212-644-2292)
New books. Architecture & interior design.
J. N. Bartfield Fine Books (30 W 57th (3rd floor) btwn 5th & 6th Aves,
This is a gallery-like place, with books ranging in price from
$50 to $1 million (so it's not for the budget-constrained), with a
mean of about $250 to $1250. The main room displays sets of
classic literature which were bound by hand between 1850-1920;
the rest are in the stacks and consist of first editions,
colorplate books, great books by American statesmen, and other
books in a variety of fields. (Because of the nature of the books
and the fact that the books' value is based on condition, you must
ask to have a book shown to you.)
University Bookshop (600 Madison Ave [not sure of cross-street])
Barnes & Noble (54th & 3rd Ave)
Includes a cafe.
Frank Music Co. (250 W 54th, 212-582-1999)
"Very well stocked, but not a place to browse. There's a counter
and storage behind the counter, and you must go there knowing what
you want. They will usually have it. (There is also a Frank Music
Corp at 39 W 54th; I don't know whether this is the same company,
but my guess is that it isn't.)"
Museum of Modern Art Bookstore (in the Museum, 11 W 53rd btwn 5th & 6th
Good selection of books on art, and art books; great poster
section; however, you *do* have to pay $20 admission to get
in. "There is another store across the street from MoMA where
anyone can go to free of charge. The stock seemed identical
between the two stores, though the outside one seems to have
more stuff (mugs, keychains, scarves, posters, etc.)" [09/08]
Quest Book Shop (240 E 53rd btwn 3rd & 2nd Aves, 212-758-5521,
Theosophy, mysticism, healing, tarot, astrology, etc. [04/06]
Rand McNally (150 E 52nd btwn Lexington & 3rd Aves, 212-758-5521)
Lots of national and international maps, guide books, globes.
Discount Bookshop (897 1st Ave btwn 50th & 51st, 212-751-3839)
United Nations Bookshop (General Assembly Building, E 45 & First Ave,
212-963-7680, 800-553-3210, FAX 212-963-4910,
http://www.un.org/) Has international affairs books, and UN
publications. "The most underappreciated specialty bookstore
in NYC. Perhaps it is vastly ignored because one needs to
enter into the UN to greet its bevy of bounty. This means that
one must wait, often, en queue for the same security check that
is administered to all who arrive to visit the more politically
sensitive areas of the building. Even though this line becomes
visibly long, it does go rather quickly--especially at
mid-morning and earlyish mid-afternoon. This is truly a
one-of-a-kind resource in international affairs of all sorts,
not only those that are UN-sponsored. High quality works dealing
with complex international policies, economic systems, and fine
basic references are present alongside hard-to-find reports,
surveys and studies performed by the United Nations and any of
its statutory affiliates. There are some surprises, too."
Hagstrom Map & Travel Center (57 W 43rd btwn Fifth Ave and Ave of the
Travel books (of course).
Zen Oriental Bookstore (521 5th Ave at 43rd, 212-697-0840)
Japanese books on design, architecture, and life styles. Mon-Fri
10AM-7PM, Sat 11AM-7PM.
New York Public Library Bookshop (5th Ave and 42nd, 212-930-0869)
Posman Books (Grand Central Terminal, 42nd & Vanderbilt, 212-983-1111,
Appears to be a fine all-around little store, including good-sized
travel guide section; and some gifts. Has a branch in Chlesea
Market. Mon-Fri 8AM-9PM, Sat 10AM-7PM, Sun 10AM-6PM. [12/09]
Book-Off (49 W 45th btwn 5th & 6th, 212-685-1410,
New and used. Discount used book chain expanding rapidly in Japan.
"Used bookstore that specializes in Japanese-language material,
especially manga (comics). Upstairs is a cluttered but diverse
English used-books section; computer books, political science,
philosophy, Far East, art/photography (esp. Japanese photobooks),
genre fiction, business management. Almost no SF or English
translations of manga, though. They also have a huge stock of CDs
(mostly Japanese artists, although there's a good supply of Western
music) and used VHS video, almost all of which is Japanese editions
of Western movies or Japanese films (albeit with no English).
English-speaking staff is very friendly and helpful. They both buy
Drama Book Shop (250 W 40th, 212-944-0595, FAX 212-730-8739,
Theater, film, and performing arts. One of the most complete
collection of plays I've seen, including British imports. Includes
both playscripts a la French's and books of plays, as well as
everything about drama et al. The one "gap" seemed to be in Yiddish
plays (in translation). Now in a new location southeast of the Port
Authority. Mon-Fri 10AM-8PM, Sat 10:30AM-8:30PM, Sun 12N-6PM.
Midtown Comics (200 W 40th at 7th Ave, 2nd Floor, 212-302-8192,
"A good store with a good selection and friendly staff. They
encompass two floors, the first being dedicated to comics and
the second for toys (as well as the adult section). The New
Releases section leaves a lot to be desired in terms of
organization. Titles are organized by publisher, but I
haven't found any order beyond that. Trying to find anything
older than one week (and thus not on the "this week's
releases" shelf) is a task. The rest of the store (back
issues and graphic novels) follows an alphabetical approach.
The store's biggest asset is its account system. Open an
account at the store, and receive $20 credit for every $100
spent on "books" (comic books, graphic novels, magazines, and
hardcover/paperback books)." Mon-Sat 11AM-9PM, Sun 12N-7PM.
OAN-Oceanie Afrique Noire Books (15 W 39th btwn 5th & 6th Aves,
New and used books on Africa and African issues, art, etc. Also
Native American books and French-language books.
Kinokuniya Bookstore (1073 Avenue of the Americas btwn 40th & 41st,
10018, 212-869-1700, http://www.kinokuniya.com)
Japanese books, origami paper, etc. Very large and usually very
busy. Japanese tour buses stop here because of its proximity to
Rockefeller Center. A bit expensive but much better than any other
Japanese bookstore in New York. Sun-Sat 10AM-7:30PM. [04/08]
Polish American Bookstore (333 W 38th, 10018, 212-594-2386, FAX 212-594-2383)
New York Astrology Center (545 8th Ave btwn 38th & 39th, 212-947-3609)
A veridical association bookstore, as it is owned and managed by the
A.F.A (American Federation of Astrologers).
Goldberg's Marine (12 W 37th, 10018, 212-594-6065)
Boating and marine.
Pathfinder Bookstore (307 W 36th, 10th floor, 212-736-2540).
"Features books on the Cuban revolution, South Africa, union
struggles, Black history, women's liberation, Russia and Eastern
Europe. Books by Marx & Engels, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Che
Guevara, Rosa Luxemberg, Mother Jones, Lenin, Castro and many
others." They also send out catalogs. [02/11]
Pierpont Morgan Library Book Shop (225 Madison btwn 35th and 36th, 212-685-0008)
Museum shop. Access to both the Library (regular adult
admission $12) and the bookstore is at the Library entrance.
Tue-Thu 10:30AM-5PM, Fri 10:30AM-9PM, Sat 10AM-6PM,
Sun 11AM-6PM. [09/08]
Complete Traveller Bookstore (199 Madison Ave at 35th, 212-685-9007,
Important collection of maps, guides and books. Very knowledgeable
staff composed largely of travel-addicts, as opposed to the younger
Rand-McNally staff. A lot of travel commentary books as well as
strict guide books. There also have a large room of old (and
expensive) travel and history books. Mon-Fri 9AM-7PM,
Sat 10AM-6PM, Sun 12N-5PM.
Penn Concessions Inc. (Penn Station, 34th and 7th Ave, L.I. Concourse,
Jewish Book Center of the Workmen's Circle (45 E 33rd btwn Park & Madison
Aves, 212-889-6800 x285 or 800-922-2558)
Judaica and Jewish books in English and Yiddish.
Potala Publications (241 E 32nd, 212-213-5011)
In Tibet House. Has a large selection of books on Buddhism and
The Compleat Strategist (11 E 33rd btwn 5th & Madison Ave, 10016,
"Best gaming store in the city. The front half of the
cavernous space is dedicated to rulebooks, supplements, and
adventure modules for practically every game on the market
today (and some older stuff to boot). The books are organized
by publisher/system (White Wolf, Palladium, d20, Steve Jackson
Games, etc.) and if you have trouble locating something, the
staff is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. They also
carry gaming magazines, tie-in novels (Battletech, Forgotten
Realms) and what appeared to be military reference books
(presumably for war gamers)." (Also has locations in Falls
Church, VA; Boston Mass; and King of Prussia, PA). Mon-Wed,
Fri-Sat 10:30AM-6PM, Thu 10:30AM-9PM. [08/03]
Jim Hanley's Universe (4 W 33rd, btwn 5th and 6th Aves, 10001-3302,
Comics. "For the most part they organize things
alphabetically, but some of the more popular writers (Alan
Moore, Neil Gaiman, Warren Ellis, etc.) will have their work
shelved together, either under their last name or the title of
their most popular work (i.e. "M" for Moore, or "S" for
Gaiman's Sandman). The customer service is also excellent.
The staff is extremely helpful and puts a lot of effort into
finding what you need, whether you're a tourist who just
wandered in off the street or an obsessed fan who comes in
every week to get their fix. I shop there every week, and
yet, when I asked for the first volume of Megatokyo and it
was nowhere to be found, three managers were tearing their
hair out searching for it, apologizing profusely when the
search was unsuccessful. Service like that has certainly
made me loyal." Mon-Sat 9AM-11PM, Sun 10AM-9PM. [08/03]
Asian American Writers' Workshop Bookstore (16 W 32nd, Tenth Floor,
Over 2000 titles written by, about, and for Asian Americans.
Mon-Fri 11AM-7PM, Sat 12N-7PM.
Koryo Books and Hanyang Books and Music (E 32nd btwn Broadway and 5th Ave)
"Korean bookstores (I assume Korean). I can't tell you anymore--
everything was in a language I couldn't read (do you have any idea
how frustrating this can be to a book reader?)."
J. Levine Jewish Books and Judaica (5 W 30th btwn 5th & 6th Aves,
212-695-6888, FAX 212-643-1044, http://www.levinejudaica.com)
"World's largest Judaica selection," mail orders, etc. Over a
hundred years old, making it one of the oldest bookstores in New
York. Sun 10AM-5PM (except July), Mon-Wed 9AM-6PM,
Thu 9AM-7PM, Fri 9AM-2PM, closed Sat.
NYU Health Sciences Bookstore (333 E 29th, 10016, 212-998-9990,
FAX 212-725-9296, )
"Largest selection of medical, dental, nursing, and health titles
in the tri-state area." Probably also has paraphenalia that med
students need (stethoscopes, reflex hammers, the little flashlight
gizmos for looking in ears and noses, that sort of stuff--at least
it did in its old location." [Someone reports that the "little
flashlight gizmos for looking in ears and noses" is called an
Gozlan's Sefer Israel Inc. (28 W 27th, Suite 402, 212-725-5890,
FAX 212-689-6534, http://www.seferisrael.com).
Jewish books and Judaica. "Importers of Israeli Books and Judaica.
I have had good experience with this importer, and have ordered the
*excellent* Rav Milon Hebrew-English dictionary from them at a good
price, with prompt service. They have a list of about 29 texts,
tapes, videos on Hebrew language instruction graded at six different
levels of instruction. This seems like a good place to look for
serious Hebrew educational materials."
Arnold Joseph (1140 Broadway btwn 26th & 27th, 212-532-0019)
Samuel French Bookstore and Reading Room (45 W 25th btwn Broadway & 6th
Ave, 212-206-8990, FAX 212-206-1429, http://www.samuelfrench.com).
Their ad says "1000's of play titles; out-of-print archives for
Samuel French plays; bookstore and reading room open to the public".
Lushena Books (15 W 24th, 212-989-0080)
African-American, Caribbean, and African books, audiocassettes
Downtown Manhattan (Battery to 23rd Streets):
There are a variety of sidewalk booksellers in the Chelsea, Washington
Square, and other areas in lower Manhattan; these are not individually
Shakespeare & Co. (137 E 23rd at Lexington, 212-505-2021, FAX 212-220-5199,
Seven days 10AM-8PM.
Cosmic Comics (10 E 23rd, 10010, 212-460-5322)
"They carry a good selection of popular titles, but their
smaller size means that a lot of the more obscure stuff will
have to be found elsewhere. The store itself is airy and
clean, and the staff is well-mannered. They offer credit to
customers who sign up for an account (same deal as Midtown -
$20 credit for every $100 spent). The comments on the new
releases and staff recommendations are also highly amusing
and worth a look."
Sign of the Times Bookstore (131 W 23rd btwn 6th & 7th Aves,
Books about sign language, etc. I assume they have a TT number,
but they don't list it in their Yellow Pages ad.
Manhattan Comics & Cards (228 W 23rd btwn 7th & 8th Aves, 212-243-9349)
Architecture Books (48 W 22th btwn 5th & 6th Aves, 212-463-0750)
Architecture, I assume.
Russian Bookstore No.21 (174 Fifth Av (betw 22 & 23 St, 212-924-5477,
"Only Russian bookstore in Manhattan" (according to them).
Warning: It is *impossible* to get off their mailing list once
you've been added. [06/12]
United Synagogue Book Service (155 Fifth Ave, 212-533-7800 x2003,
"In addition to books published by United Synagogue, the
Rabbinical Assembly, and the Jewish Theological Seminary, they
also carry a small selection of books from other publishers,
including the Steinsaltz Talmud and the JPS Torah Commentaries.
Nice catalog, and includes lots of good Hebrew story books
geared towards children with 250-word vocabularies. These are
among the least expensive childrens Hebrew story books I have
Ursus Books Ltd. (132 W 21, 10011, 212-627-5370, FAX 212-627-5375,
New and out-of-print art books and catalogues, as well as some
collectible first edition fiction. (Used to be on W Broadway.
Also has an uptown location.)
Other Books (224 W 20th, 10011, 877-THE-OTHER, http://www.otherbooks.com)
Psychology publisher. I don't know if they carry other
publisher's books as well.
Revolution Books (9 W 19th, 10011, 212-691-3345, http://www.revolutionbooks.org/)
Huge Marxist and otherwise left-wing inventory; also other
international books. Apparently moved from their E 19th Street
location. Mon-Sat 10AM-7PM, Sun 12N-5PM.
Idlewild Books (12 W 19th, 10011, 212-414-8888, http://www.idlewildbooks.com
Travel, foreign language, and world literature. Also has a
Brooklyn store. Mon-Thu 12N-7:30PM, Fri-Sun 12N-6PM. [06/12]
Books of Wonder (18 W 18th, 212-989-3270, http://www.booksofwonder.com)
Heavenly gift to adults who like children's books. Everything
from first editions to the latest paperbacks. They do readings
periodically. Periodic newsletter they'll send to customers
announcing new books. "On Sunday mornings at eleven-thirty,
Tim Hall, the assistant manager, reads stories to neighborhood
kids. Publications include a monthly newsletter, an Oz
newsletter, and a catalogue for collectors. Books of Wonder
is a Barney-free zone, with limited parking for strollers."
[-New Yorker] Assumed to be the inspiration for the bookstore
in YOU HAVE MAIL. Has a cafe. Mon-Sat 10AM-7PM, Sun 11AM-6PM.
Barnes & Noble (E 17th on Union Square)
Yet another superstore, about eight blocks north of the Cooper
Union one. Has a seating area for author appearances, etc.
Posman Books (75 9th Ave, Chelsea Market, btwn 15th and 16th, 10011,
Newer branch of the store in Grand Central Terminal.
Mon-Fri 10AM-9PM, Sat 10AM-8PM, Sun 11AM-7PM. [12/09]
Richard Stoddard Performing Arts Books (18 E 16th at 5th Ave, Room 305,
10003, 212-645-9576, http://www.richardstoddard.com)
Rare books in the field of drama. Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat 11AM-6PM.
Viewpoint, Inc. (111 E 14th, Suite 125, 212-242-5478)
Reliable and competent at book searching.
East West Books (78 5th Ave btwn 13th & 14th, 212-243-5994)
Stocks books on Buddhism, Taoism, Sufism, Indian Religions
also New Age, self-improvement, health and healing. Cards,
jewelry, audio tapes, incense. Good-sized stock. (Also has
an uptown store.)
Drougas Books (34 Carmine btwn Bleecker & Bedford, 212-229-0078)
"Non-imperialist unoppressive bargain books." Remaindered
books, good selection. Mon-Sat 12N-8PM.
All Comics (44 Carmine btwn Bleecker & Bedford, 212-924-4905)
A nice small comics shop.
Biography Bookshop (266 Bleecker at 12th, 212-807-8655)
One poster says, "Nice store, but try the Strand first--this
place is way overpriced." (Editorial note: this probably just
means that new books are in general over-priced.) [06/11]
Alabaster Bookshop (122 4th Ave at 12th, 212-982-3550)
Fair selection of literary fiction, some science fiction.
Mon-Sat 10AM-8PM, Sun 11AM-6PM. [05/07]
Salvation Army (110 4th Ave btwn 11th and 12th and other locations)
"Always a crapshoot, ultra-cheap (hardcovers $1.49, paperbacks
79 cents, if you buy 10 or more they're 99 cents and 49 cents.)"
[My one visit did not give any indication of it being worthwhile,
but de gustibus and all that.] [05/06]
Strand Books (828 Broadway at 12th, 212-473-1452 or 800-366-3664,
This place is huge. (The sign used to say "8 Miles of Books".
It has been upgraded to "18 miles of books".) They specialize
in reviewers' copies for half-price, used books, and the out
of print. "The Strand is one of the world's largest
bookstores, and yet the employees there, unlike those in many
smaller bookstores, really do know what is on the shelves and
can tell you immediately whether or not they have what you are
'Do you have "The Complete Encyclopedia of Illustration,"
'By Heck. No, sorry; we don't.'
is a much better answer than :
'Uh, gee, I dunno...look around on the shelves.'"
And one more thing that makes the Strand unique--they have
restrooms! The Rare Book Room is now accessible simply by
taking the elevator. This store has a good selection of
original editions and valuable books. They have installed an
elevator for access to the basement and second floor, where
the new art book department is. The third floor has higher
quality stock than their main floor (at least in SF). It is
now definitely air-conditioned in the summer, and has much
larger restrooms. Founded in 1927 by the Bass family, which
still owns it, Mon-Sat 9:30AM-10:30PM, Sun 11AM-10:30PM.
Buys books non-holiday Mon-Sat only. [05/12]
Luftmensch Books (a table on 2nd Ave btwn 11th and 12th, 212-505-6893)
(Deals primarily by mail, but has this table as well. The
phone is presumably *not* at the table.)
Nikos Smoke and Magazine Shop (462 6th Ave at 11th, 212-255-9175)
"Very small, and not necessarily friendly, but they use every
inch and are stocked full of literary, academic, scholarly
journals: politics, philosophy, poetry, literature, marxism,
theory, art, etc, as well as the usual magazines. Hard to
leave without buying something." [08/03]
Russica Book and Art Shop (799 Broadway at 11th (third floor), 212-473-7480)
Russia and Russian art (in both English and Russian).
Fred Wilson Chess Books (80 E 11th btwn University Place & Broadway,
Chess books, chess sets, etc. There are, amazingly, at least
two other stores in the area devoted to chess, both on
Thompson between Bleecker and W 3rd.
Three Lives Book Store (154 W 10th east of 7th Ave, 212-741-2069,
A wide variety of subject matter, but seeming to concentrate
on women authors, reissues of 1920s and 1930s books. Very
interesting place to browse.
Creative Visions (548 Hudson, 212-645-7573 or 800-434-7136,
Gay/lesbian/bisexual bookstore. Over 5000 G/L/B book titles
plus a large selection of main stream exercise, wellness,
health, psychology, philosophy, theology, and spirituality
titles. Also videos, greeting cards, posters, etc.
Discounts for members/contributors to G/L/B, women's, or AIDS
organizations. Sun-Thu 12N-10PM, Fri-Sat 12N-11PM.
May Day Books: Theater for the New City (155 First Ave btwn 9th and
10th, 10003, 212-254-1109, FAX 212-979-6570)
Open Mon-Fri 3PM-7PM; Sat-Sun 12N-7PM (not sure on these)
Bluestockings Books (172 Allen, 10002, 212-777-6028)
Open seven days 1PM-10PM. [01/05]
Ottendorfer Library Book Sale (2nd Ave at 9th, upstairs on balcony)
"Ultra-ultra cheap books (10 cents-$1.00). What's there is
random... but occasionally great."
St. Marks Bookshop (31 3rd Ave near 9th, 212-260-7853,
"A GREAT bookstore. Excellent selection of books for the
downtown intellectual." "The ... store is decorated in the
style that used to be called 'High Tech': lots of fixtures you
would expect in a factory instead of a bookstore. The place
feels more like the hold of a spaceship in a Dr. Who episode
than a bookstore. However, the selection is as good as ever.
Large selection of fiction, philosophy, art books and
magazines, small-press literary magazines, SF, etc., and they
are open until midnight, which is always a plus."
St. Marks Comics (11 St. Mark's Place (8th) btwn 2nd & 3rd Aves,
East Village Books & Records (101 St. Mark's btwn 1st and A, 212-477-8647)
Used. "Dusty, musty, and cheap. You can find some real gems
if you look hard enough."
Hudson News (753 Broadway south of 8th, 212-674-6655)
Carries foreign-language periodicals.
See Hear (59 E 7th, 10003, 212-505-9781)
"A tiny shop dedicated to selling 'zines. Their selection was
somewhat limited and really dated in some cases, but it's
unlikely you'll find a larger collection of 'zines anywhere
else. They also sell some books and a few of the more popular-
but-not-quite-mainstream publications." Seven days 11AM-7PM. [08/06]
Harris Books (2nd Ave btwn 4th & 5th; 212-353-1119)
Far and away the best book table in the East Village. Has
many new and used books at excellent discounts, and is
distributor for various small presses, notably including
Loompanics. He also has a store upstairs in the building next
to the table--follow the signs. Sun, Tue-Thu 2PM-10PM,
Left Bank Books (17 8th Ave , 212-924-5638)
Small store, used books. Specializes in modern first editions.
Moved from its previous location. Sun-Thu 11AM-8PM, Fri-Sat 11AM-10PM. [05/10]
Shakespeare & Co. (716 Broadway just north of 4th, 212-529-1330,
A good, large selection, they're good about getting in the new
stuff quickly. Sun-Thu 10AM-11PM, Fri-Sat 10AM-12M. [05/06]
Has home design and style items, as well as books.
New York University Book Center (Main Store) (726 Broadway, 10003-6637,
212-998-4667, FAX 212-995-4118, http://www.bookstores.nyu.edu)
General and textbooks.
New York University Computer Store (242 Greene at Washington Place, 10003-6676,
212-998-4659, FAX 212-995-3779, email@example.com)
General interest and some technical books. Software and
hardware generally restricted to full-time NYU University
New York University Professional Bookstore (530 LaGuardia Pl btwn Bleeker &
3rd, 10012-1469, 212-998-4680, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Law/Business/Public Administration School texts and related
paraphernalia. (Replaced Law School book store.)
Mercer Street Books (Mercer & Bleeker)
Piles of used books, and (for a change) strong sections in
math and science (although one poster says this section has
diminished lately). Small but choice selections in science
fiction, mystery, and other sections. They also have loads
of used textbooks. (They used to be called the Art of
Reading.) Mon-Thu 10Am-10PM, Fri-Sat 10AM-12M, Sun 11AM-10PM.
Village Chess Shop (230 Thompson btwn Bleecker & 3rd, 10012,
Chess Forum (219 Thompson btwn Bleecker & 3rd, 212-475-2369,
Yes, these really are two different shops.
Bilingual Publications (270 Lafayette near Houston, 212-431-3500)
Center for Book Arts (626 Broadway (fifth floor) btwn Houston & Bleeker,
Limited edition art books, fine printing, sketch books and
journals, small publishers, bookbinders, fine printers.
Kolwyck-Jones Books (588 Broadway btwn Prince & Houston, Suite 905,
Art reference, out-of-print and rare, concentrating on the
Housing Works Used Book Cafe (126 Crosby btwn Houston & Prince, 212-334-3324,
"Humanities, art books, coffee bar. Excellent prices." ( All
proceeds go to Housing Works, a nonprofit organization that
assists homeless people with H.I.V. and AIDS.)
Sufi Books (227 West Broadway at White)
(For out-of-towners, note that West Broadway is an entirely separate
street from Broadway, running parallel to it and about four blocks
Witkin Gallery (415 West Broadway btwn Spring & Prince, 212-925-5510)
Large selection of art and photography books. (For out-of-towners,
note that West Broadway is an entirely separate street from
Broadway, running parallel to it and about four blocks west.)
McNally Jackson Bookstore (52 Prince & Lafayette, 10012, 212-274-1160,
Independent bookstore. Open Mon-Sat 10AM-10PM, Sun 10AM-9PM.
The Mill Store at Dieu Donne Papermill (433 Broome btwn Broadway & Crosby,
212-226-0573, FAX 212-226-6088, DDPAPER@YORICK.NY.CYBERNEX.NET )
Books on papermaking by hand, paper conservation, alternative
photography on handmade paper, and bookmaking. Tues-Sat 10AM-6PM.
Oriental Culture Enterprises Co, Inc (13-17 Elizabeth, second floor,
10013, 212-226-8461, FAX 212-431-6695)
"I got my five-volume SELECTIONS FROM MAO ZEDONG there. (They
have it in English, too, by the way, along with Lenin, Marx, and
others. But finding the books in English is not easy, particularly
if you don't speak Chinese.) A great selection of books, most of
which are in Chinese. They also sell things needed for Chinese
calligraphy, Chinese musical instruments, recordings of Chinese
music, Chinese-language periodicals, and many other things Chinese.
An attached art gallery sells paintings. While browsing through the
books, sit down and enjoy a cup of tea free of charge. Well worth a
visit. Two complaints: it's more expensive than it should be, and
too many of the books are damaged (by careless customers, or by
thoughtless staff?). Unquestionably the best bookstore in all of
Chinatown." Fri-Wed 10AM-7PM.
Computer Book Works (78 Reade, 212-385-1616)
Mostly new computer books, some used. Someone says the new books
are discounted but doesn't say how much or whether it's all new
books or just some.
Manhattan Books (150 Chambers, 212-385-7395)
New and used NYU texts.
The Mysterious Bookshop (58 Warren, 212-587-1011,
Mystery books and so on. It also has its own publishing company
so they also have the latest copies of their own line of
mysteries. Book-signings by authors. Used to be in mid-town.
Seven days 11AM-7PM.
New York Nautical Instrument and Service Corporation (140 West Broadway near
I had said "Boating and marine." Someone wrote, "The description
doesn't do it justice. It's like saying F.A.O. Schwartz is a toy
store, or that Zabar's is a deli. You go to New York Nautical when
you want serious books and publications (they also have a good
selection of popular "boating and marine" books). By serious, I
mean official government charts for the whole world, textbooks
explaining how to load a container ship to maximize stability,
almanacs, tide tables, etc, etc. Most of their trade is to the
commercial shipping industry (or what's left of it)."
Civil Service Book Shop (89 Worth at Broadway, 212-226-9506)
Civil service test preparation.
National Museum of the American Indian Shop (next to Battery Park,
Bowling Green subway stop, 212-283-2420)
The museum is located in the old Customs House. [09/06]
Also, there are lots of specialty bookstores, usually around each of
the colleges and universities in the area (Columbia, NYU, St. Johns,
CUNY, and so on).
Information contained in this FAQ is compiled from many sources. The
compiler accepts no responsibility for the comments contained herein.
The comments are provided "as is" with no warranty, express or implied,
for the information provided within them.
This FAQ is not to be reproduced for commercial use unless the party
reproducing the FAQ agrees to the following:
1) They will contact the FAQ maintainer to obtain the latest version for
2) They will provide the FAQ maintainer with information on what collection
the copy of the FAQ is in, and how that collection may be obtained.
3) They will agree, in writing, that the FAQ will be included in the
collection without modification, and that acknowledgements of
contributors (if any) to the FAQ remain in the FAQ.
4) They will agree, in writing, that the collection including the FAQ will
be distributed on either a non-profit basis, or have some percentage of
profit donated to a non-profit literacy program. Project Gutenberg
To support this, this FAQ is Compilation Copyright 2014 by Evelyn C. Leeper
(the FAQ maintainer).
Evelyn C. Leeper (email@example.com)
Go to my home page