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The best bookstores in NYC

Find the best bookstore NYC has to offer from our favorite picks including specialty and used bookstores

Photograph: Shutterstock
By Tiffany Gibert and Alanna Schubach |
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New York’s one of the most literary cities in the world, and that’s never more evident than when wandering in its brilliant independent bookstores and specialty bookshops. And because Amazon’s recommendations have got nothing on a face-to-face chat with a professional bookseller, find the best bookstore NYC has to offer for browsing new fiction or picking up the year’s best books.

RECOMMENDED: Best places for shopping in NYC

Find the best bookstore in NYC

McNally Jackson
Photograph: Courtesy McNally Jackson
Shopping, Bookstores

McNally Jackson Books

icon-location-pin Nolita

McNally Jackson features one of the city's most thoughtfully curated selections of nonfiction, novels, hard-to-find magazines, children's books and, most notably, poetry. Their staff picks are always impeccable, as are the tasty pastries offered in the in-store café.

Shopping, Bookstores

192 Books

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Owned by art dealer Paula Cooper and her husband, editor Jack Macrae, the bright and airy 192 is one of the best places to pick up beautiful books, from art tomes to style encyclopedias and gardening picture books to film studies.

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Shopping, Bookstores

Strand Book Store

icon-location-pin East Village

As the Strand's tagline boasts, this store's got 18 miles of books, almost all at discounted prices. If you spend enough time here, you can find just about anything, from that out-of-print Victorian book on manners to the kitschiest of sci-fi pulp.

Shopping, Toys and games

The powerHouse Arena

icon-location-pin DUMBO

Dumbo darling powerHouse publishes its own coveted photo books, but the company's loftlike space and gallery sells everything from cheeky birthday cards to the hottest memoirs. Its built-in stadium seating also provides the perfect venue for readings from authors like Gary Shteyngart and Tavi Gevinson.

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Shopping, Bookstores

Unnameable Books

icon-location-pin Prospect Heights

This haven carries a wide variety of genres—though owner Adam Tobin namechecks its poetry and philosophy sections as being particularly good—and can satisfy any lit craving. If you’re on the hunt for bargain tomes, hit up the selection of used books, many of which can be found on carts outside the store for as little as $1.

Shopping, Bookstores

WORD

icon-location-pin Greenpoint

You won't mind braving the G train to make it to Greenpoint's friendly literary outpost. With another store recently opened in Jersey City, WORD is living proof that a genuine devotion to good books can defy economical odds.

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