12 used bookstores in NYC to buy priceless used books at a low price

list of used bookstores in NYC

A lot of good things are in front of us but due to our minds being wired in a certain manner we are not able to see them.

We call it a bias to only see the way the world sees it and the way the world wants us to see it.

One such entity which we don’t see but a lot of value exists in it is - used books.

When you buy used books, the advantage is that you save a lot of money but you get the same value as its brand new version. The content doesn’t change much and in the case of a few genres like fiction, the content never changes.

As a New Yorker, you know the cost of living in New York City is higher than most of the cities of the United States.

The higher you can cut on monthly expenses, the higher will be your savings.

As a reader, who can’t live without books, you can cut on your book expenses by indulging in used books.

If you haven’t thought of it then let me tell you a simple calculation - Suppose you read 30 books a year each of which cost you $15 on average, then the yearly expenses become 450$.

In the same year, if you choose to buy the same books from the used book stores in New York City then on average, the cost of each book will recede to $6.

Calculate the total amount now and you will find the yearly expenses reduced to 180$. Look at the savings - 270$.

I am sure you are wondering about money-saving now but that will only be possible if you know from where you can purchase used books in New York City.

Without any doubt, the best way to buy used books in NYC is from its used bookstores.

Buying used books from these stores will not only save you money but will also help the respected owners of these NYC used bookstores who have been struggling with high real estate rent.

In this blog post, I am going to tell you the 12 best used bookstores in NYC from which you can buy any used book you want.

Book Cellar

Book Cellar New York

In the basement of the NYPL Webster library, Book Cellar used book store is located.

For a bibliophile, Book Cellar is no less than heaven. The staff in the Book Cellar bookstore consists of the volunteers of the Friends of the Webster Library.

The staff of this used books store is amicable and doesn’t believe in walking behind you while you explore different book sections.

Books in this store are categorized across 60 categories. You will find a lot of new releases for as cheap as 6$ in Book Cellar and many famous and popular books for only $1.

If you enter this bookstore with only 20$ in your pocket then you will come out of it after a lot of time and with a big stack of second hand books.

The profit obtained by selling books goes to various other libraries of the NYPL.

One peculiar characteristic of Book Cellar is that this bookstore accepts only cash so your digital wallets and credit cards won’t work here.

The Book Cellar’s fantastic collection of books makes it one of the best places to buy used books in New York City.

Address - 1465 York Ave, New York, NY 10075

Timings - 11am - 5pm, Sunday closed


Argosy bookstore is one of the oldest and largest used bookstores in NYC.

Located in Midtown Manhattan, you will be blown by its fabulous collection of books ranging across different fields of interest.

The Argosy bookstore has 6 floors in total and is almost 100 years old. The atmosphere of this bookstore is quite vintage and gives a feeling of content while you browse through its bookshelves.

If you believe in gifting books to people on their special occasions like weddings or anniversaries then Argosy is the bookstore to visit, as you can find many hard-to-find and out-of-print books here that if you gift to someone, he/she is guaranteed to jump with joy.

Argosy bookstore is the place-to-be for historians. Apart from vintage history books from the middle ages as well as of the modern era, you will find here old maps.

The old maps of the 1700s and 1800s that any historian would pay anything for are available in Argosy bookstore.

Also, at the outside of this used bookstore, you will find books at a price as cheap as $1, but I would recommend you to go through all its floors and deep dive into its stupendous book collection.

The specialty of this bookstore is in modern first editions, books on art, books on photography, culture, history, Americana, and souvenirs like old maps, and prints.

Any bookworm who has recently shifted to Midtown Manhattan and is asking himself/herself ‘which is the used books store near me?’ should go to 59th street because there is where Argosy is located.

I give you a tip to check the books out on its basement floor as you will be blown away by the collection. A set of stairs leads to the basement that starts from close to the office in the back of the first floor. A lot of people don’t see that and miss checking on the collection in the basement.

The three generations old legacy of this bookstore coupled with its appealing inventory and charming atmosphere makes it the best place for used books in NYC.

Address - 116 E 59th St New York, NY 10022

Timings - 12 pm - 5 pm

Argosy used bookstore

Westside Rare and Used Books NYC

My school was on the border of the town in which I lived during my childhood.

Although I have many memories of school, however, I remember my school time more for the library.

The library was two-storey tall and the walkways were super tight, such that I would wait for the students browsing through the books to finish, get up and pass on.

The library was the best thing that ever happened to me in school. I could feel it talking to me back then.

The first time when I came to New York City, a good old man recommended me to visit Westside Rare & Used books store when I asked him where to find used books in NYC.

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When I walked into this used bookstore, all the memories of my school started flashing in front of my eyes because this bookstore was a look-alike of my school’s library.

I started exploring this two-storey tall bookstore which was small in terms of area but much bigger from the perspective of its fantastic book selection.

The bookstore has many hardcover and softcover second hand books, out-of-print books, rare collectibles, and a fabulous fiction books collection.

I bought so many books that my backpack got full. Apart from the fiction genre, the ‘Westside rare & used books’ also has a good collection of books on photography, cooking, and attractive coffee table books.

Also, if you are looking for used art books in NYC then you will be elated in this bookstore.

Do remember to check out the rare books on the upper floor. The bookstore accepts cash if you buy used books worth less than 10$.

In case you are on the upper west side and have used books to buy, make sure to swing by this charming bookstore from which you won’t return empty-handed.

Address - 2246 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

Timings - 10am - 8pm


Book-off New York

The settled immigrants adorn New York City. They bring the best of their own culture and thus add to the liveliness of this great city.

French, Spanish, Hispanics, Japanese folks, etc live here, work here, build their careers, and enjoy in NYC.

The bookworms from these communities want to purchase books of their own language and thus search for bookstores that can provide books in their own language.

For example, french will search for french bookstores in New York City, Spanish and Hispanics will search for Spanish bookstores in NYC, and so on.

Book-off is a used bookstore for Japanese book readers.

If you are interested in Japanese books, Manga, anime, and want to buy those at a cheap price then your visit to Book-off is a must.

Book-off provides you with used Japanese books, CDs, DVDs, toys, action figures at an extensively low price.

You will find Japanese graphic novels, used Japanese children’s books, novels at reasonably low prices in Book-off. In fact, the basement floor of this bookstore is filled with Manga and anime.

Don’t think that Book-off only has used books in Japanese, the book store does have a lot of English books including Manga and anime.

You will find plenty of awesome books for as low as $1 in Book-off that will compel you to spend money and hours on its premises. Due to all these characteristics, Book-Off holds a special place in our list of used bookstores in New York City.

Address - 49 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036

Timings - 10am - 8pm

Left Bank Books

Left Bank Books

The expectations of book readers from a used bookstore are to provide them vintage books or rare collectibles or first editions of books in great condition and at low prices.

The used bookstore which does so will have a large number of buyers of used books kept in their bookshelves.

Left Bank Books is one of those used bookstores in NYC which has got a great collection of vintage books, rare books all available at reasonable prices and in great condition.

Doesn’t matter if you want to buy the first, the second, or third edition of a book, Left Bank Books will quench your thirst for it.

This bookstore also provides you the best selection of used art books in NYC, as well as rare books in literature.

A bibliophile looking for books on any branch of art like photography, music, dance, direction, film making, etc will be elated while browsing the book sections inside this store

‘Left Bank books’ also has a good collection of used children’s books, architecture books as well as fashion books.

Address - 41 Perry St New York, NY 10014

Timings - 12pm - 6 pm

Alabaster Bookshop

Alabaster Bookshop

Never judge a bookstore by its area. Never judge that a tiny used bookstore cannot have a fine selection of books.

The alabaster bookshop is a perfect example that proves the first two statements.

Alabaster has been in business since 1996. The bookstore is small but if you are passing by then do not walk off without going through its book collection.

A bookworm going for his/her next book would be glad to visit here as the bookstore’s carefully selected books will give him so many quality recommendations for the next read.

On the outside of Alabaster bookshop, you will see a box full of books giving them to you for only $2, try to make the most of it.

One of my friends told me that he found the entire Twilight Saga for as low as $8 in that box, therefore, do not leave this bookshop without checking this box.

Alabaster bookshop has a curated selection of books that will compel you not to leave empty-handed. You can easily find some fantastic books in literature, fiction, psychology, occult, poetry, and a few books of which you haven’t heard of, the collection of books will certainly appeal to you.

Alabaster bookshop is located near the Strand bookstore NYC, its size is much smaller in comparison to the Strand but still, I recommend you visiting it because of its curated used books selection.

On a lighter note, this bookstore will prove dangerous to the money you are carrying so be cautious!

Address - 122 4th Ave New York, NY 10003

Timings - 10 am - 9:30 pm

Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain books

The best used bookstores of NYC are fuelled by the passion of their respective book owners.

When you visit such a used bookstore, the politeness and book recommendations of the book owner will not let you leave the bookstore empty-handed.

The owner of the used bookstore ‘Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books’ is extremely polite and passionate about the curated book selection which is why this is a primary bookstore to buy used books in New York City.

From its name you should deduce that this bookstore is a great place to buy bargain books. The term ‘ unoppressive’ complements the term ‘bargain books’ as it means that the books available will not hit your wallet.

The ‘Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain books’ offers you a carefully curated collection of books belonging to different genres such as fiction, science fiction, art, philosophy, culture, spirituality, and self-help.

If you are having a bad day or an extremely good day then I recommend you to visit this used bookstore as you are surely going to give up on stress on encountering William Blake books available at a price less than 50% of MSP.

The book collection also offers you William Shakespeare books, Bob Dylan books, Alan Watts, and Allen Ginsberg books.

One of my friends who looked for a specific vintage book on Che Guevara all around the bookstores in New York City got it in this bookstore only.

Second hand bookstores in NYC like ‘Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain books’ are wallet-friendly and provide invaluable knowledge and genuine entertainment through their well-thought-out orchestrated book collection.

Address - 34 Carmine St New York, NY 10014

Timings - 11 am - 10 pm

Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain books

Mercer Street Books and Records

Another used bookstore in Greenwich village in which you will become lost while exploring the book collection. ‘Mercer Street Books and Records’ is a gem of a bookstore with an exciting collection of rare collectibles, hard to find books.

I went in here some time back and got myself a stack of books, all written by the best female authors of all time, at a truly affordable price.

I highly recommend this bookstore to anyone who is interested in buying good philosophy and poetry books. Bibliophiles who indulge in reading SciFi will also find intriguing books in the bookshelves of this store.

I also found some age-old classics that literally captivated me to pick them up but already I had no space in my bag so I couldn't buy them off.

Overall, the book collection of ’Mercer Street Books and Records’ is guaranteed to provide a fantastic experience to its customers.

Address - 206 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012, United States

Timings - 12pm - 8pm

Mercer street books and records

Codex Bookstore

On Bleecker street in Midtown Manhattan, ‘Codex bookstore’ is located.

When you are searching for second hand books on a wide range of subjects in New York City for as low as $1 then you ought to visit Codex.

Codex is a tiny bookstore but the second hand book selection which you are going to find on its shelves is highly curated, well organized in alphabetical order.

The staff inside this used bookstore is friendly and you can have a nice chat with them about the books you are looking for or are browsing.

The Dollar cart kept outside holds invaluable treasure.

I am sure a true bookworm will have to control himself/herself while exploring the dollar cart as the books kept inside them are guaranteed to appeal to you to take them with you.

Codex also has a nice collection of fanzines and rare collectibles along with books ranging across genres like poetry, philosophy, fiction, and branches of art.

A healthy tip for you is to check the bookmark collection at the pay counter. They are beautiful, aesthetic, and appealing.

Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks

One friend of mine who is in pastry school suggested a good bookstore to buy used cookbooks in NYC - Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks.

The shop run by a graceful lady Bonnie Slotnick is a heaven on earth for the culinary experts, chefs, food students, and gastronomers.

Yes, you can find any recipe on Google these days but that shouldn’t underestimate the power of vintage cookbooks that you can find here.

“They may hold some exclusive recipe or addition to an existing recipe which you may not find on any website hence, for all the folks who are associated in any way with culinary arts, going to this bookstore is a big value-add.”

Actually, the comment above was not made by me as I have very little knowledge when it comes to food but my friend who recommended this book store said this to me when I told her, “People google recipes these days”.

Indeed, ‘Bonnie Slotnick cookbooks’ contain some exclusively available vintage cookbooks from around the world.

The bookshelves of this store are going to give you some of the finest books ever written on food literature. The bartenders and wine collectors will also find pleasure here as a lot of drink books are available here at reasonably low prices.

The books will not be cheap like available for only $1 or $2 but the prices are affordable and cheaper than the brand-new cookbooks.

Let me also tell you that this store has those cookbooks for you which are available on ebay at quite high prices.

Address - 28 E Second St New York, NY 10003

Timings - 1 pm - 7 pm

Bonnie Slotnick Books


You have a list of used book stores in New York City from which you can buy used books and thus, save a lot of money.

But somewhere down the line, you are going to encounter the question of ‘where to sell used books in NYC?’

A lot of these used bookstores will take your used books but you need to understand that the margin on used books is less; out of what they make they need to reinvest in their business, pay rent, pay to their employees, and other expenses to run the business.

The point is you are not going to earn much on your used books if you take them to any of the used book stores in NYC.

So, the question pops again ‘where can I sell used books in NYC?’

The answer to this question is bx-zone.com.

Bx-zone.com is an online used bookstore whose sole purpose is to get you the right buyers for used books living around you or at least in the entire New York City. This store is the right solution when you have used books to sell online.

Bx-zone doesn’t charge any commission fee from its users and is absolutely free for use so, don’t think that there is any limit on how many used books you can sell through bx-zone.

Much of the procedure to sell used books in NYC is simple but you can read a detailed article on ‘how to sell used books through bx-zone.com’ by clicking on this link.

With the right amount of patience, you can earn decent money on your used books by selling them to worthy buyers.

Address - www.bx-zone.com

Timings - 24x7

sell used books nyc

East Village Books

I told you about bx-zone.com as the answer to the question that pops frequently in the head of a bookworm - ‘where can I sell my used books for cash near me?’, however, it will help you when you want to sell used books in NYC to individual students or bookworms.

But if you are asking yourself ‘who buys used books in NYC?’ from the perspective of a brick-and-mortar store then East Village Books is the one store you should go to.

You need to keep in mind that they take in used books of specific types and genres such as scholarly subjects, art books, photography books, literary fiction, textbooks (new editions), music, religion, occult books, law books (latest editions), finance books, applied sciences textbooks (new releases and latest editions), graphic novels, comic books and review copies.

In addition to this, this bookstore has a quirky collection of used books that will fascinate you. The new releases will be available for you at more than 50% discount on its bookshelves.

If you are one of those bibliophiles who looks for a store of used books in NYC where the staff doesn’t hover around then you will enjoy shopping for used books here.

Address - 99 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

Timings - 1pm - 9:30 pm

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