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Top 5: Independent Bookstores in New York City

by Veronica An

Jan 30, 2015

Strand Books, New York City © Bigapplestock | Dreamstime

North America

Even though some people think books are going the way of the typewriter, these independent bookstores are evidence of the contrary. Bibliophiles will revel in these five unique locations and support independent businesses in the process.


Strand Books

Strand Books is perhaps the largest and most well-known independent bookstore in Manhattan. The store holds more than 18 miles of books and is conveniently located near Union Square, at 828 Broadway and 12th Street. Strand sells new and used books as well as collectible items.



In the Lower East Side, Bluestockings stands out for its unique selection of books and fair-trade, organic café. Located on 172 Allen St., Bluestockings also serves as a community activist center. The store is entirely community-owned and staffed by volunteers.


Mercer Street Books

On Mercer Street in Greenwich Village, Mercer Street Books is another memorable stop. In addition to books, there is an extensive and ever-changing record collection to peruse.


Posman Books

Posman Books has three prime locations in Manhattan — Grand Central, Chelsea Market and Rockefeller Center — and provides a cozy atmosphere for book shopping. The family-owned store has been in business for more than 20 years and coordinates literary-themed programs at its three locations.


The Housing Works Book Shop and Café

The Housing Works Book Shop and Café offers a surprising selection of used books and a charming café. The bookstore and café are a branch of the non-profit, Housing Works, and help fund their mission to end homelessness and halt the spread of AIDS. Patrons can enjoy balcony seating and comfortable reading nooks and visit the adjacent Housing Works Thrift Shop.


These shops provide a relaxing atmosphere and are a welcome break from the hustle of the Manhattan streets. Enjoy an afternoon exploring the shelves and settle in for a cup of tea and literary conversation — these bookshops are here to stay.



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