Best Independent Bookstores in New York City
February 24, 2023 | 3 min Read
What better time of year than February to curl up with a good book? Perusing the shelves and picking out your next read is part of the fun. New York offers a fantastic selection of independent book stores where you can browse and easily pass an afternoon. Check out our picks below to get started.
The Corner Bookstore
Since 1978, The Corner Bookstore on the Upper East Side has been a haven for book lovers in Manhattan. Small, but eternally cozy, this independent store has a well-curated selection of books; plus the staff make thoughtful recommendations. The Corner Bookstore also boasts an impressive children’s section.
1313 Madison Ave,
New York, NY 10128
Housed in the Flatiron Building, this independent NYC bookstore is home to a dazzling array of books that jump off the beautiful wooden bookshelves. Rizzoli is a famed Italian publisher of coffee table books— NYC is home to their lone U.S. shop. The books run the gamut of subjects, but the photos and/or illustrations are always impressive in their size and their ability to capture hearts.
New York, NY 10010
McNally Jackson Books
If you’re seeking a quaint bookshop to fetter away a few hours, look no further than McNally Jackson Books. There are several locations across New York City, the flagship is in Soho. With tasteful shelves, comfy couches, and a delicious in-house cafe with treats from New York restaurants such as Balthazar and Sarabeth’s, there’s no reason not to linger.
52 Prince Street
New York, NY
Certainly New York City’s oldest bookstore deserves its place on this list. Founded in 1925, Argosy is on the cusp of 100 years of book selling. Vintage decorum, tall shelves, quaint tables and library style green lamps make visitors feel like they’re stepping back in time as they peruse the rare first-edition, out-of-print books and antique maps for which the shop is known.
116 E 59th St
New York, NY 10022
Albertine Books is tucked away, a hidden gem in the Payne Whitney Mansion, which houses the French Embassy. Stepping through the foyer into the little shop is a treat into a refined and elegant librairie with shelves full of inviting titles. The selection of books is devoted to French literature. If you still haven’t read A La Recherche du Temps Perdu, you can pick up a copy here. Even if you’re not a French speaker or interested in reading the finer points of Proust in his native tongue, the shop does carry some thoughtful English titles.
972 5th Ave
New York, NY 10075
The Drama Bookshop
This charming New York bookshop has long been a part of New York’s theater scene. Since 1917 the bookstore has provided scripts to legendary Broadway performers. With more than 8,000 plays regularly in stock, a cafe with yummy treats and an atmosphere that encourages writers to collaborate and work, it’s an ideal place to spend an afternoon. The Drama Bookshop also has fun star appeal since its purchase in 2020 by Broadway legend Lin-Manuel Miranda who used its basement to rehearse one of his more famous plays that propelled him to new career highs.
266 W 39th St
New York, NY 10018
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