A woman with a white shirt holding a stack of books in a bookstore. A woman with a white shirt holding a stack of books in a bookstore.

What Are the 12 Stunning Bookstores in NYC?

In a city full of rock music, fashion, dreams, and noise, the best way to escape reality is with books.

It is always said that a book is a person’s best friend. So how can a best friend not care for us? To find these books full of love, joy, and adventure, bookstores in NYC are the best choice.

Whether planning to stay inside or go outdoors, books can be your best companion anywhere. No matter what you do or wherever you are, a book can accompany you perfectly whenever you feel lonely.

Bookstores in NYC are best at providing you with your favorite books within no time. You get not only a perfect book but also a place to sit and read them peacefully.

A person choosing a book from a bookshelf in a bookstore.
Photo by Element5 Digital/ Pexels Copyrights 2018

Amazing Bookstores in NYC

1. Housing Works Bookstore Café

Housing Works Bookstore café is one of the best and most glorious bookstores in NYC, which provides amazing books and a warm environment in which to sit and read them.

This bookstore café was self-established and is New York’s most loved destination.

All of the stock presents in this bookstore café are donated, and the employees work here voluntarily. So, most of the earnings of this bookstore café go to fund Housing Works’ lifesaving services.

It also organizes various low-cost events on various nights of the week and has a phenomenal collection of books, music, and movies; it also provides a fully loaded café as well as a bar.

Housing Works bookstore café is where you enjoy your company to the fullest and a place where you can be with your friends and family and chill.

2. Albertine

Albertine is the only bookshop among all bookstores in NYC that is fully about books written in English and French.

It consists of more than 14000 contemporary and classic titles from around 30 French-speaking countries.

A view of the kid's section in Albertine Bookstore in NYC where a blue-colored roof with zodiac signs are made at the roof and books are kept on the shelves.
Photo by Creative Family on Shutterstock

Located in the Upper East Side neighborhood at 972 5th Avenue, it fosters the main mission of making French literature available to the American audience.

This bookstore is named after the most beautiful female character in Marcel Proust’s classic Search of Lost Time.

Being housed in one of the rare iconic Stanford-White-designed Mansions. This incredible bookstore was designed by a famous French architect named Jacques Garcia.

It is a two-story building with a cozy reading room, furnished with plush sofas and armchairs.

3. Greenlight Bookstore

This is one of the amazing bookstores in NYC that was formed in October 2009.

Rebecca Fitting and Jessica Stockton Bagnulo formed this bookstore with an award-winning business plan and an innovative funding model.

Having full support for their neighborhood in Brooklyn, this bookstore provides bestsellers to its readers in no time.

From 2009, this bookstore grew by taking baby steps and became one of the best incredible bookstores in NYC.

Greenlight Bookstore is situated in the heart of Brooklyn, winning its customers’ hearts with pride.

This bookstore is worth any premium membership. However, the books here are a bit costlier than in other shops.

The staff and the environment here are great, friendly, and knowledgeable. The cost is worth it when it comes to the amazing service. So do give it a visit!

4. Book Culture

Book Culture is among the most admirable bookstores in NYC. They are having branches of their stores in so many different places.

Book Culture can maintain the same culture, warmth, comfort, and hospitality in all its branches.

Located in the Upper West Side locality, it understands the value of reading and learning and how reading enriches people’s lives with colors and happiness.

Having almost all kinds of books, book culture has become one of the most amazing and comfortable bookstores in the Upper East Side.

5. Rizzoli Bookstore

The entrance view from a street of the Rizzoli store, one of the bookstores in NYC. The entrance wall is made of glass from which books can be seen.
Photo by Stefano Politi Markovina on Shutterstock

If you are looking for an Italian bookstore without giving a second thought, visit the Rizzoli bookstore as the first choice.

This bookstore is one of the best Italian bookstores in NYC.

Located in the Nomad neighborhood, this bookstore is a complete package of table books on architecture, interior design, fashion, photography, cooking, and the fine arts with everyone’s favorite drink, coffee.

This bookstore also provides an astonishing collection of foreign language and Italian books for kids.

An amazing Hollywood fact about this bookstore is that it has been featured on The Sun as a star and Law and Order.

6. Dashwood Books

Launched in September 2005, this bookstore is considered one of the most incredible bookstores in NYC.

If you are looking for limited editions of books from Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, and elsewhere, you do not have to go to any other bookstore.

It plays the best role for artists, collectors, photographers, and advertisers when searching for the best content and research.

Dashwood never lets its customers down, having a single goal over contemporary paintings competing for the collections of museums, educational institutions, reference libraries, and fashion houses.

7. The Lit Bar

Opened recently on April 27, 2019, this bookstore has still managed to be one of the most loved bookstores in NYC.

It is currently the only bookstore serving around 1.5 million people of the Boogie Down Bronx.

This bookstore is a great place for an introvert’s pastime. Having a perfect wine bar inside it, no one can find themselves bored as they have a book as a companion and a glass of wine as a perfect match.

The Lit Bar offers various general interest books, gift items, and programming, which plays the best role in attracting locals and diversity of all ages.

8. Astoria Bookshop

Being one of the best bookstores among various other bookstores in NYC and being a single bookstore in Astoria, Queens, is a pleasure.

Astoria always lacked an incredible independent bookstore where kids and adults could connect with books, but this bookshop sorted that problem out for Astoria.

Having kids hours to make kids indulge in books and understand the beauty of books is its specialty. Visits by various authors at the bookstore make it more special and indulging for adults.

Astoria Bookshop helps people to read their favorite books in a peaceful and positive environment with no disturbance.

9. McNally Jackson Independent Booksellers & Café

McNally Jackson Books is one of the best bookstores in NYC, and it never fails to provide any book of your choice.

McNally Jackson Bookstore is the best choice for people looking for rare, difficult, and interesting book finds.

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Photo by Lena Chert on Shutterstock

You will find every book in this bookstore, from hard-to-find titles to bestsellers.

It has a cozy place to sit and read, making your knowledge grow as your mind relaxes. Having your favorite book in hand makes that process more beautiful.

This bookstore is currently available in Nolita, Williamsburg, Seaport, and Downtown Brooklyn. Having a widespread gives this bookstore a head start among all other bookstores in NYC.

10. Shakespeare and Co.

This Manhattan bookstore was established in 1983 on the Upper East Side. The second location of this iconic bookstore was on the Upper West Side in November 2018.

This commendable bookstore is all about an iconic collection of academic books, best-selling books of fiction and non-fiction, children’s books, and whatnot.

This bookstore is a gem in both neighborhoods. It even has its in-store patented book printing machine for providing the best quality printed books.

This bookstore is a gem in the upper east and upper west sides of other bookstores in NYC.

11. The Strand

Originating in 1927, the strand has built itself quite a reputation among all other bookstores in NYC.

The strand bookstore carries around 2.5 million used, new and rare books covering almost all the genres and topics in today’s time.

A close-up of a stack of books in the Strands bookstore in NYC.
Photo by Kevin Lee on Unsplash Copyrights 2016

The Strand bookstore is all about books, but it is also about all the amazing gifts taught in the store.

Having commendable employees always upgrades the value of any store, and this quality is available in this store, making it even more special and peaceful.

Here, you will get your favorite book, and you can buy an extraordinary gift for your loved ones or even yourself.

12. Books Are Magic

As the name suggests, Books Are Magic spreads magic in Brooklyn. It is one of the amazing bookstores in NYC, it is the baby of a local author and graphic designer pairing.

This bookstore was established in 2017, and since then, it has been a charm in Brooklyn. Having various book reading events almost every night, there is never a dull moment in books. It is magic.

This beautifully designed bookstore is a perfect match for introverts and book lovers. Getting a perfect book is difficult, but books are magic. Does that magic to finding a perfect book match for you?

End Note on Bookstores in NYC

independent bookstore shopping in new york city ???? (nyc vlog)

Bookstores in NYC are the highlight of the city. So, it is a piece of free advice for all the amazing book lovers to explore these stores and satisfy your inner bookworm!

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