New York is a city of 8 million stories. Some of those stories can be found in its many great bookshops. The trick is to know the right ones to go to on your trip to the city that never sleeps.
The Strand (828 Broadway & East 12 St)
With over ‘18 miles of books’, the Strand is a must-visit for any book lover. Opened in 1927 and with a stock of over 2.5 million books, it’s not the most organised of shops, but that’s all part of its charm. Best for a long afternoon rather than a quick visit, and make sure you check out the rare book room on the third floor. As well as its store near Union Square, it also has kiosks along the Central Park side of Fifth Avenue.
The Housing Works Used Book Café (126 Crosby Street)
This is a great place to recharge after a long shopping session in Soho with the added bonus of feeling like you’re giving something back. Housing Works is a charity aimed at helping people with AIDS and those facing the challenges of homelessness, and as well as the bookshop it also runs a number of high-end second-hand shops throughout the city. Staffed completely by volunteers, make sure you try one of the homemade cakes in the café at the rear of the shop.
Forbidden Planet (832 Broadway)
When I think of comics, I think of New York City. Spiderman doesn’t fight crime in New Jersey and The Avengers aren’t based in Milwaukee. When I think of the best place to buy comics in Manhattan, I think of Forbidden Planet. As well as comics and graphic novels, they also stock anything SiFi-related including games, toys and clothing. It’s a great a place to unleash your inner geek.
Kinokuniya Bookstore (1073 Avenue of the Americas)
Overlooking Bryant Park, this is a piece of Tokyo next to the New York City Public Library. Stationary can be found in the basement and the café on the first floor is a great place to people watch. It stocks both Japanese and English language books and their staffs are fluent in both. If you like Manga or anything related to Japan, then Kinokuniya is well worth the visit.
Books of Wonder (18 West 18th Street)
Whether you have kids or are just a big kid yourself, this shop has everything from pop-up books to Twilight. What’s great is that its collection ranges from the classic to the modern, and even if you’re stumped on what to get that hard to buy for friend the shop’s staff is always on hand to help you pick out the prefect read. The young adult section is especially good, and it’s famous for having a great selection of rare antique as well as new Wizard of Oz books.