New bookstores in NYC 2013: The best independent additions

Support independent purveyors of literature at these new bookstores in New York, including specialty sci-fi shops and community hubs.

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  • Photograph: Jeff Kirby

    Bureau of General Services, one of the best new book stores in NYC

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    Molasses Books, one of the best new book stores in NYC

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

    powerHouse on 8th, one of the best new book stores in NYC

  • Photograph: Art by Dj Boy

    Word Up, one of the best new book stores in NYC

  • Singularity & Co., one of the best new book stores in NYC

Photograph: Jeff Kirby

Bureau of General Services, one of the best new book stores in NYC


Step away from Amazon and discover a whole new world of literature with our roundup of New York’s best new bookstores. These indie specialty bookstores offer a wide range of selections, from LGBT-focused reading material to vintage sci-fi. And of course, don’t forget about these stalwart best bookstores.

RECOMMENDED: 100 best shops in NYC

Bureau of General Services, one of the best new book stores in NYC

The Bureau of General Services

There’s a serious shortage of LGBT literature shops in NYC. Co-owners Donnie Jochum and Greg Newton help to fill the gap with this spot, focused on queercentric tomes, magazines, readings and discussions. The Bureau began as a pop-up within the Strange Loop Gallery, but has since become an open-ended partnership. 27 Orchard St between Canal and Hester Sts (646-457-0859) • bgsqd.com

Molasses Books

This relaxed used-book shop and hangout stocks a diverse selection of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, culled from customer trade-ins and owner Matthew Winn’s personal collection. Once you’ve picked up a title or three, settle in with a beer or glass of wine—both $1 off during
the daily happy hour (6–8pm)—or a cup of coffee. Molasses also hosts literary and theatrical readings, lectures and DJ nights. Night-owl bibliophiles can stay past midnight on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. 770 Hart St between Knickerbocker and Wilson Aves, Bushwick, Brooklyn • facebook.com/molassesbooks

powerHouse on 8th, one of the best new book stores in NYC

powerHouse on 8th

The owners of Dumbo’s cavernous powerHouse Arena opened this more intimate outpost—with brick walls and a pressed-tin ceiling—last fall. The selection homes in on children’s and young-adult works, cookbooks and lifestyle reads, in addition to more general offerings. There are also plenty of events, including book groups and author appearances. 1111 Eighth Ave between 11th and 12th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-666-3049) ext 102 • powerhouseon8th.com

Word Up, one of the best new book stores in NYC

Word Up

This volunteer-run store was originally supposed to be temporary, a pop-up shop that would occupy a vacant Washington Heights storefront for a month. But a bookstore-starved neighborhood clamored for more, and with help from the Northern Manhattan arts Alliance, one month became more than a year. The store was a reflection of its nabe, carrying a multilingual book selection and hosting a diverse array of locally fueled events. Now, Word Up is a beloved entity without a home—but the proprietors have one they’re zeroing in on, which they hope to move into later this spring, thanks to funds raised in an online campaign. In the meantime, keep an eye on the store’s website for one-off pop-ups and news on the new location. Monitor wordupbooks.com for news.

Singularity & Co., one of the best new book stores in NYC

Singularity & Co.

Despite being named after the hypothetical point in the future when human life will be totally transformed by technology, this spot is enamored with the past. Its mission: to pluck forgotten 20th-century sci-fi and fantasy titles from obscurity, both by publishing one out-of-print title a month as an e-book, and by selling vintage copies of classic and esoteric works at its Vinegar Hill shop. You’ll find early editions of works by Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin, Piers Anthony and less famous cohorts, with all the awesomely bizarre retro cover art that entails. 18 Bridge St between John and Plymouth Sts, 1G, Dumbo, Brooklyn (347-460-7724) • singularityshop.com



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