12 best New York City bookstores that will satisfy your hunger for books

article on bookshops in New York city

‘Readers are leaders’ this popular idiom still holds its significance. Billionaires Elon Musk and Bill Gates read a lot of books every year and show us that books have the power of excellence.

Book Reading has been the common characteristic of the influential people.

New Yorkers spend millions and millions of dollars on books every year that proves the craving for knowledge among them.

While the online delivery of books has brought ease to the lives of book readers, the real fun of book reading is going to and selecting the book from a bookstore.

In a book reader’s life, bad days don’t exist. When a book reader realizes that the day is not going in their favor then all they do is visit a bookstore.

Exploring different genres of books in different sections for hours turns a bad day into a good one.

You visit a bookstore thinking of spending only 15 minutes and you come out after 4 hours.

This uncanny power is what bookstores unleash on you.

Personally speaking, the sight of neatly arranged books on bookshelves plus stacked books in the new arrivals section in a bookstore brings bliss to my mind.

But bookstores in New York are battling extinction. Over the years, some of the best New York city bookstores have shut down.

Experts claim that the real reason behind the closing of the book shops in New York is the spiking rent of the real estate.

Even though many bookstores in New York City, Manhattan, and other boroughs closed down but the love for paperback books among New Yorkers is far from over.

This is because New York City has got one of the great reading communities in the world.

Why wouldn’t there be as it is the literary capital of the world?

On any weekend, you can see the existing bookstores in NYC flooded with book readers and bibliophiles.

So, keeping in mind the goodwill provided by the bookstores, here are the 15 best bookstores in New York City from which you can get your next pile of books.

Strand Books store

strand books store

No list of the best bookstores in New York City is complete without the mention of Strand Books store.

This brick-and-mortar bookstore contains more than 2.5 million books within its walls.

Founded in 1927 by Ben Bass - an entrepreneur cum voracious book reader - Strand started with a seed capital of 600$ on Book Row which in present-day is 4th Avenue.

In fact, it is one of the oldest bookstores in Manhattan New York.

Strand bookstore contains a humongous collection of new, and rare collectibles as well as used books. Strand is the largest bookstore in New York.

You will find books of any genre you are interested in ranging from agriculture & farming to film & drama, from books on Feng shui and home improvement to occult books, from medical books to books on substance abuse.

You can visit the Strand with the list of books of your favorite female authors or male authors or child authors and I am sure that you will find every book in your list on its amazing bookshelves.

Even Strand bookstore NYC has got books on artificial intelligence.

Strand is not limited to only books, it offers a wide variety of gifts and goodies for its customers. I personally like t-shirts with Strand printed on it. The pouches and Mugs available are also cool.

You can gift your kid or a friend the Strand bookstore gift card on his/her birthday.

If you find fun in book shopping then you will have to spare an entire day from your schedule for visiting the Strand books store.

The bookstore offers curbside pick up keeping in mind your health.

Timings - 12 pm - 8 pm

Address - 828 Broadway, corner of East 12th Street, East Village, Manhattan, NYC

Rizzoli BookStore

In the bustling midtown Manhattan, Rizzoli bookstore stands tall in 1133 broadway. The interior of the Rizzoli bookstore gives you a feeling of a classy palace full of towering bookshelves.

The bookshelves contain books mainly in the art and literature genres.

A European traveler who is into books must pay a visit to this fabulous literary destination. In fact, this bookstore has a separate section for European magazines and Newspapers.

If you are looking for Spanish or French bookstores in NYC then Rizzoli has an amazing collection of books in Spanish, French, and Italian languages. Literature in different languages isn’t a problem in this classy New York bookstore.

Rizzoli bookstore in New York also offers you books on fashion, fine arts, photography, architecture, home decor, interior design, and cookery.

Because it attracts countless book lovers from all over the world to its fine collection of books that is why it holds a special place in the list of the best bookstores in New York City.

Timings - 11 am to 7 pm

Location - 1133 Broadway, New York NY 11010

rizzoli bookstore new york

The Mysterious Bookshop

If you are a beginner reader then your selection of books determines how long it will take to form a long-lasting reading habit.

As a beginner reader, you should always look for books with intriguing content.

One of the genres of books that guarantees to provide intriguing plots is mystery fiction.

When you are looking for books in the genre of mystery, crime, espionage then the bookstore that can fulfill your need is The Mysterious Bookshop.

The Mysterious Bookshop is truly one of the best independent bookstores in NYC dedicated to a specific genre and its subgenres.

You will find thousands and thousands of books in the genre of detective fiction in this store. In fact, this bookstore has a specific section containing all the books on Sherlock Holmes in the world as well as Sherlockiana.

The main attraction of this bookstore is its bibliomystery section in which you will find books written by some of the biggest authors of the world exclusively for this bookshop.

The Mysterious Bookshop boasts a large collection of books in the crime genre, spy fiction, captivating thrillers, and a lot of other subgenres of mystery fiction.

You will find several signed first editions in addition to the limited editions of big authors like Lee Child, Micheal Connelly, and James Ellroy making it one of the unique bookstores in NYC manhattan.

Timings - 11 am - 7 pm

Address - 58 Warren St, New York, NY 10007, United States


Travel bookstores in the United States are a species that is on the verge of extinction.

Every tourist has a smartphone now and most of them google the places of attraction to visit.

When I first visited New York City, I googled my way to see all the tourist attractions.

However, some people still find pleasure in buying travel guides and follow them rather than using mobile phones.

These folks do not hesitate in buying travel books to read the history of Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller center, and see some terrific pictures of the city taken by renowned photographers.

If you belong to this group of people who has a taste in reading travel guides and travel books then you should visit the Idlewild bookstore in Manhattan.

Idlewild Bookstore specializes in travel books and is one of the last travel bookstores in NYC.

Idlewild also has a branch in Brooklyn where they arrange language classes in French, Spanish, and German.

Timing - Monday to Thursday 12 pm - 8 pm, Friday to Sunday 12 pm - 6 pm

Address - 170, 7th Ave South, at the corner of Perry street

Kinokuniya New York

japanese bookstore in New York

You can take Kinokuniya bookstore as one of the great Japanese bookstores in NYC. Even though it is a Japanese bookstore with a huge collection of Japanese books, but its main floor offers an amazing collection of English books of various genres.

You can get acquainted with the Japanese culture in Kinokuniya New York.

Like an ideal bookstore, you will find a stationery section in the Kinokuniya bookstore where you can buy souvenirs, and gifts on Japanese culture.

The bookstore also has a cafe that complements its fine collection of books of children, business, and art genres.

Located a few steps away from Bryant Park, it is one of the finest bookstores in the New York City Manhattan borough.

Timings - 11 am - 7 pm

Address - 1073, Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10018

Libreria barco del papel

Although Strand and Rizzoli bookstores provide books in Spanish but exploring a bookstore keeping a vast collection of Spanish books has its own fun.

When you go to such a Spanish bookstore you feel closer to the Spanish and Hispanic culture.

So, this article will not be complete if I failed to throw light on a couple of Spanish bookstores in New York City.

One Spanish bookstore that will grab your attention is Libreria Barco del Papel.

Libreria Barco del Papel is located in the Queens neighborhood of NYC.

You will find a vast collection of books in Spanish from medieval literature to modern literature. The bookstore Libreria Barco del Papel also boasts a fine collection of Spanish books in the genres of psychology, poetry, history, biographies, children, and many more.

The bookstore also gives encouragement to the emerging and established writers of Spanish literature. People who are taking Spanish language classes must visit this bookstore to buy beginner level books

Timings - 11 am to 7 pm

Location - 4003, 80th street, Queens, NY 11373

Albertine Bookstore

Albertine bookstore New York

Located at a few meters distance from Central Park on 5th Avenue, Albertine is one of the best french bookstores in New York City.

Albertine is in one way responsible for keeping the french culture alive in New York City. In this bookstore, you will find books in French as well as their English translations.

For the people who are interested in reading the works of renowned french authors like Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, and modern authors Yasmina Reza, Michel Houellebecq, Virgine Despentes then Albertine bookstore is a boon for you.

You can spend countless hours in here exploring its calm and peaceful two floors.

In winter, when we crave to go out but the cold doesn’t allow us, Albertine can serve as the best destination for hanging out with English and French books.

The ceiling of the bookstore shows a hand-painted solar system which totally complements the peaceful atmosphere of this store.

Timings - Monday 2 pm - 6 pm, Tuesday to Saturday 10 am - 6 pm

Address - 972 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10075

La Librairie Des Enfants

Any article on the best bookstores in New York City will be incomplete if it doesn’t mention emerging bookstores.

La Librairie Des Enfants is one of those emerging french bookstores in New York which is getting popular among families.

Why so? Because as its name suggests, La Librairie des Enfants is a children’s bookstore where the entire family can spend time together exploring books.

This bookstore has a fine collection of books in French for children that include graphic novels, Harry Potter books (translated in French), classics like ‘Le Petit Prince’ and many books to help children learn the French language in depth.

The location of this bookstore is Upper East Side on 92nd Street and the moment you step inside, you feel as if your mind has come into calm from chaos. La Librairie Des Enfants also host puppet shows timely for children.

Timings - 10 am - 8 pm

Address - 163 East 92nd St, New York, NY 10128 (Upper East Side)

French bookstore NYC

Books of Wonder

Children who are book lovers and spend more of their childhood reading books are a boon for their parents. The responsibility of parents of such children is limited to taking them to a children’s bookstore.

Indeed, this parenting method should be taken up by every responsible parent.

Books of Wonder is one of those good bookstores in NYC where you can take your kids to have quality time with them and books.

Books of Wonder is one of the largest and the oldest children’s bookstores in New York City.

The bookstore is rich in classic and modern graphic novels and books, board books for toddlers, classics for teens like Harry Potter, dictionaries, atlases, chapter books, and many more.

You can buy books of renowned children authors such as Mo Willems, Eric Carle, Dr Seuss from here and hand them to your toddler. Picture books by Mo Willems have the ability to engage your toddler and thus develop love for reading.

‘Books of wonder’ believes in preserving the health of its customers, thus, it provides sanitizer and keeps a strong check on social distancing. You can’t enter the bookstore without wearing masks.

Timings - 11:00 am - 7 pm

Address - 42 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

McNally Jackson

bookstore in midtown manhattan - McNally Jackson

One of the famous bookstores in NYC is McNally Jackson. I call it a hidden gem for book-lovers because once you go inside this bookstore it will compel you to come again and again.

If you are looking for bookstores in New York City (Manhattan) that have all genres of books other than Strand bookstore then McNally Jackson is the one for you.

The McNally Jackson is an independent bookstore in New York City which also has a cafe where you can sip your morning coffee along with reading your favorite book.

The staff of the McNally Jackson bookstore is friendly and helps you with book recommendations as per your taste.

Their skills include satisfying the hunger of the book lovers with genuine recommendations.

This bookstore also has a self-publishing desk where you will find books of those authors who have tie-ups with it.

McNally Jackson also has branches in Downtown Brooklyn and Williamsburg.

Timings - 11 am - 7 pm

Address - 4, Fulton Street, NewYork, 10038,

Brooklyn - 445 Albee Square West Unit G112, Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Williamsburg - 76 N. 4th Street Unit G. Brooklyn, NY, 11249

Molasses Books (Brooklyn)

Molasses books has a fine collection of used books.

This Brooklyn bookstore is run by a husband-wife duo who are quite friendly to their customers.

I went inside Molasses books shop past their closing time as I saw them wrapping up.

Even then they happily greeted me and recommended to me some of their best books available at a big discount.

Their salesmanship pushed me to end up purchasing 50$ worth of used books.

My experience with Molasses books has been fabulous and thus, I recommend it to you like the best-used bookstore in NYC. The bookstore also offers coffee, tea, wine, and beer. Like the books available in here, they are also inexpensive.

Molasses Books is a sweet place where you can sit and explore books with soft Jazz music creating a soothing atmosphere.

Timings - 10 am - 8 pm

Address: 770 Hart St, Brooklyn, NY 11237, United States

Molasses books in Brooklyn bookstore


I have mentioned a few best New York city bookstores for you. The list comprises bookstores in midtown manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the upper east side.

You can try visiting these New York city bookstores one at a time.

For instance, you can start from the first bookstore in the list that you can visit this weekend and spend some time with the books available.

Next weekend you can visit the number 2 on the list and so on. In this way, as you complete this list of bookstores you will have a lot of books on your personal bookshelf.

So, after you have read all of them you may want to sell some of those books. What would you do then?

As from any of these New York bookstores you can buy books, but where will you go to sell used books in NYC?

Don’t worry! As bx-zone.com will provide you assistance in this area. So, when you’re wondering where to sell used books in New York City’ then all you have to do is list your books in the books store of bx-zone.

By doing so, you can sell your used books to the people living in the entire New York City, who are seeking to buy your books at a low price.

Final Word

This was the list of the best bookstores in NYC. Next time, when you wonder ‘where is a bookshop near me in New York City?’ All you have to do is refer to this article.

Books nourish a reader’s soul. Bookstores are containers that hold books within them, thus, their existence is necessary.

Remember that we can help them exist for eternity by regularly visiting them and purchasing books and books and more books from them.

So, which of these best New York bookstores have you visited and which all books you bought from there?

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