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Best indie bookstores in NYC for families

Find the best books for your brood at these NYC-based indie sellers.

  • Bank Street Bookstore

  • Photograph: Tia Ryan

    Book Culture

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nels

    Books of Wonder

  • Photograph: Etienne Frossard

    Claire Frossard reading Emma's Journey at Greenlight bookstore in Ft Greene

  • Photograph: Yvonne Brooks

    McNally Jackson Books

  • P.S. Bookshop

  • Photograph: Robert Nguyen

    Posman Books

  • Photograph: Heather Terry

    Word Brooklyn

Bank Street Bookstore

Bank Street Bookstore
Despite its misleading name, the 112th Street locale features a broad selection of tomes for young readers, in addition to a vast assortment of games, toys and CDs. Its warm, knowledgeable staff is equally treasured, going the extra mile to weed out gems instead of directing customers straight to the best-sellers. Bank Street Bookstore.

Located just a few blocks from Atlantic Avenue, the recently expanded BookCourt is a long-standing independent seller with a great selection and lots of space to browse. The store carries all kinds of books (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children's books) and literary periodicals, and spotlights new work by local authors. BookCourt's impressive reading series includes a stellar list of children's book authors. BookCourt.

Book Culture
This community bookstore goes above and beyond to make itself a destination for reading and playing alike. In addition to its inviting children's room, packed with puzzles, art supplies and toys, the UWS store attracts mini literati in droves with its weekend storytelling sessions, often featuring guest appearances by kid-lit authors. Book Culture.

Books of Wonder
Joining forces with Baconery, a bacon-meets-pastry shop, the city's only independent children's bookstore still features titles both new (signed copies, such as the latest Caldecott Medal winner, A Ball for Daisy) and old (rare and out-of-print editions), plus foreign-language and reference titles, and a special collection of Oz books. Books of Wonder.

Greenlight Bookstore
Opened in 2009, Brooklyn's Greenlight Bookstore is run by Jessica Stockton Bagnulo (who formerly worked at another high-end independent bookstore, McNally Jackson) and Rebecca Fitting. Bagnulo brought with her an eye for a comfortable space, and she's stocked it with a selection that goes well beyond best-sellers. The store hosts reading events for both adults and children, often with local writers. And why not? Brooklyn has literary talent galore. Greenlight Bookstore.

McNally Jackson Books
McNally Jackson features a good variety of nonfiction, novels and magazines, as well as an expertly curated selection of children's classics and perennial favorites. Young readers can also swing by for the weekly story and crafts session, which takes on a different theme each Saturday. McNally Jackson Books

The powerHouse Arena
PowerHouse publishes beautiful photo books, but the company's loft-like space and gallery in DUMBO hosts all kinds of events, including some of the hottest authors and illustrators in kid-lit. The powerHouse Arena.

P.S. Bookshop
Kids can sprawl out on the furry carpet, clap to tunes and check out baby toys in the big cardboard box at owner Yuval Gans's regular storytime and sing-along. In addition to playthings, the eclectic store offers a quality selection of children's books, including hard-to-come-by foreign-language reads. P.S. Bookshop.

Posman Books
Not only does this mom-and-pop-ish bookshop contain an impressive collection of children's reads but it's also got a mean collection of NYC-centric books for kids, to get them in the New York state of mind early. A comfy event space hosts cool kid events, such as puppet shows and yoga. Posman Books

Word Brooklyn
Adult bibliophiles might be interested to know that Henry Miller grew up not too far from this quaint literary emporium, and though this independent bookstore carries classics on par with Tropic of Cancer, the quaint shop also proffers more up-to-date titles. Weekly literary events are frequent, as are children's book readings. Word Brooklyn.

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