Best specialty bookstores in New York City

These bookstores represent some of the best places to geek out over specific literary interests



Add +

Need to find the latest Pulitzer Prize–winning play or that obscure crime novel your aunt recommended? You know you can find it in New York, but where? Well, here's a handy list for everyone from literary fetishists in search of the latest in design books to scholars seeking key feminist studies.

Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Shop

The city's only all-poetry bookstore began as a table at the Brooklyn Flea, and in 2013, owners Jared White and Farrah Field opened this brick-and-mortar dream. Drop in for the latest poetry books, hard-to-find chapbooks and readings almost every night.

  1. 126A Front St between Jay and Pearl Sts, Dumbo, Brooklyn
More info


This radical bookstore and café hosts readings and discussions on health, race, class and sexuality. The selection ranges from bell hooks, natch, to poetry zines, and recurring events include a feminist book club and kundalini yoga.

  1. 172 Allen St at Stanton St
More info

Mysterious Bookshop

  • Price band: 1/4

Devotees of mystery, crime and spy novels will surely recognize owner Otto Penzler as one of the foremost editors and anthology compilers in these genres. His shop holds a wealth of new and classic thrillers, plus autographed first editions.

  1. 58 Warren St between Church St and West Broadway
More info

Printed Matter

  • Price band: 2/4

This nonprofit organization, which operates a public reading room as well as a shop, is exclusively devoted to artists’ books. Works by unknown and emerging artists share shelf space with those of veterans such as Yoko Ono and Edward Ruscha.

  1. 195 Tenth Ave at 22nd St
More info

Bergen Street Comics

  • Price band: 2/4

Comics devotees and newbies alike will feel at home among Bergen Street's easy-to-browse display tables and oak racks. That level of care extends to the wares too, which are expertly selected and arranged, highlighting both highbrow graphic novels and classic superhero strips.

  1. 470 Bergen St between Flatbush and Fifth Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn
More info

Idlewild Books

In this travel-obsessed shop, guidebooks, travel-related fiction and photo books line the shelves, while stools and glowing lights invite readers with wanderlust to stay awhile. Feeling adventurous? The stop also offers some of the city's best language classes.

  1. 12 W 19th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves
More info

The Drama Book Shop

Sparsely furnished with vintage furniture (including a row of old theater seats), this pleasant shop covers both stage and screen. So, not only will you find plays, libretti, thespian biographies and tomes on acting technique, but also guides to writing screenplays, and scripts of current films.

  1. 250 W 40th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves
More info

Midtown Comics

  • Price band: 1/4

Wild about Wolverine or mad for obscure manga? Billing itself as the largest retailer of comic books, graphic novels, manga and related collectibles in the U.S., Midtown also stocks magazines, books, DVDs, action figures and assorted swag. A true geek's delight.

  1. 200 W 40th St at Seventh Ave
More info

Books of Wonder

  • Price band: 1/4

Even if you don't have kids (but especially if you do), Books of Wonder is a treasure trove of old and new titles for the young and the young at heart. Of course, there's storytime on both Saturdays and Sundays, and the shop even hosts birthday parties for book-loving tots.

  1. 18 W 18th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves
More info

Users say