The Best Bookstores in NYC

A stack of bright red antique books.

Photo Credit: Flickr

With the Big 5 Publishing Houses located within our fabulous city, one could easily argue that New York is home to all things literary. Included in this list, of course, are amazing bookstores. Even in the age of Amazon, there’s something to be said for whiling away a summer afternoon in the air conditioned comfort of a brick and mortar bookstore. Below are a few of our favorites close to Glenwood apartments. Happy reading!

An exterior street view of The Strand Bookstore in NYC.

Photo Credit: The Strand Bookstore

The Strand

Any book lover living in or visiting NYC will undoubtedly have The Strand Bookstore on the top of their list. Located in the East Village, The Strand is home to new, used, rare, and out of print books…so basically anything you could possibly dream of. It’s huge, even by NYC standards, and it’s easy to get lost for hours among the stacks.

What sets The Strand apart is their amazing line-up of literary events. They regularly host literary icons such as David Sedaris, James Franco, Robert Caro and Marina Abramovic. The events are engaging, and encourage audience participation in the form of photos, questions, and discussion (although if you’re an introvert who would prefer to sit back and listen, that’s just fine, too!) You’ll be seated in the Rare Books Room, so along with a stimulating evening you’ll be surrounded by the leather bound and signed copies of Ulysses and Twain…a bibliophile’s dream.

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Books of Wonder

If you have children (or are the fabulous aunt or uncle of one!), you’ll agree there’s no better place to expose the littles of NYC to books than at Books of Wonder in Midtown Manhattan. This children’s bookstore features books separated by age group, frequent read alouds and events with local authors, and autographed copies of books, which make for fantastic gifts.

A special addition to Books of Wonder which sets it apart from any other bookstore in the country catering to children is its “The World of Oz” selection of books and gifts. They carry every single Oz book ever written by Baum, plus many by his successors, as well as collectible mugs, games, puzzles, pins, and more! Truly a childhood dream for any kid (or adult) who believes in the magic of ruby slippers, and that there’s “no place like home!”

An interior view of a curved wooden staircase with string lights at Housing Works Bookstore in NYC.

Photo Credit: Housing Works Bookstore

Housing Works Bookstore

If I had to pinpoint my very favorite bookstore in NYC, Housing Works Bookstore in SoHo would be it. Nestled on a cobblestone street, the bookstore is home to used books, and purchasing them goes to help New Yorkers living with AIDS. So you can read knowing you’re helping a wonderful cause!

The venue here is a true beauty, and worth checking out even if you’re not in the market for a new (used) book. It’s bi-level, featuring gorgeous wooden floors, high ceilings, a spiral staircase, and twinkle lights strewn throughout. There’s also a lovely cafe in the back, so pick a few books off the shelves, get a latte and piece of pound cake, and stay awhile. Fun fact: you can also rent the space out for personal use, i.e. engagement parties (this is where Anne Hathaway had hers!), fundraisers, or weddings! It’s truly the perfect event space for a literary lover.

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Tips for Glenwood Residents

Speaking of “no place like home”… while Glenwood doesn’t have any buildings located a short walk from these stores, this is NYC – cabs and Uber rule! We are known for our large apartments, many with 2, 3 and even 4 or more bedrooms! Check out the main portion of our website, where you can learn more about our luxury apartments with spacious floorplans.

If you’re looking for a quiet place to enjoy your new book purchases, make sure to check out the Central Park Conservatory Garden, a delightful place to read amongst the plants and blooms.

Where is your go-to bookstore in NYC? Share with us on Facebook and Twitter!

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