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Find Any Book Imaginable at These Fifteen Indie Bookstores

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Westsider Books via Of Life Immense

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The past several years have been tumultuous for bookstores both big and small, with the shutterings of Borders, the shaky fate of Barnes & Noble, and the ongoing struggle of the St. Mark's Bookshop. That being said, now is definitely the time to support New York City's best local, independent bookstores. And who knows—maybe Spoonbill & Sugartown's recent Girls cameo will help turn the tides.

After the jump, we've rounded up fifteen shops worth spending an entire Saturday afternoon, from Westsider Books uptown to The Community Bookstore on Court Street. Need further proof that print's not dead? This weekend a marks the 20th anniversary of the Annual Book and Media Sale at the Park Slope Methodist Church.


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1. Book Culture

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536 West 112th Street
New York, NY 10025
(212) 865-1588
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This uptown shop carries a vast selection of books dedicated to the arts and humanities, and stocks scholarly titles for students and post-grads alike. If you can't find what you're looking for here, there's also another location nearby at Broadway at 114th Street.

2. Westsider Books

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2124 Broadway
New York, NY 10024
(212) 362 -0706
Visit Website
Westsider Books sells a little bit of everything, from used titles to hard-to-find copies and even $3 DVDs. They're also more than willing to fill that niche void in your life. Their website explains: "Do you have a special area of interest? Depression Era Shoes? Kabuki? Yorkshire Terriers? Unusual Joyce Items? Send us an email and go on file, we'll call you when it comes in."

3. Kinokuniya Bookstore

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1073 6th Ave.
New York, NY 10036
(212) 869-1700
Visit Website
Scour Japanese fashion magazines and books at this Midtown shop, which also boasts a cute second-floor cafe. If Japanese isn't your second language, you'll be able to peruse a selection of popular English books, stationery, pens, and more.

4. Idlewild Books

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12 W 19th St
New York, NY 10011
(212) 414-8888
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Planning a trip abroad? Stop by Idlewild first to stock up on travel guides, instructional language books, and foreign literature. They also offer Italian, French, Spanish, and Arabic classes, and have a location in Cobble Hill.

5. Books of Wonder

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18 W 18th St.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 989-3270
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If you're an avid reader now, you probably started when you were young. Books of Wonder on West 18th Street is for the moms and dads in the audience—head here for the best of children's literature, including new books, old and rare copies, and art.

6. Three Lives & Company

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154 W 10th St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 741-2069
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Whether you want to browse solo or receive personal recommendations from the staff, Three Lives in the West Village is a safe haven for bibliophiles to whom Kindle is a four letter word. The shop prides itself on handling special order "meticulously" and also frequently hosts author readings.

7. Strand Book Store

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828 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
(212) 473-1452
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If you're looking to get lost for an entire afternoon—or day, or week, or month—Strand is the most obvious choice. As the slogan goes, there are 18 miles of books to choose from.

8. St. Mark's Bookshop

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31 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10003
(212) 260-7853
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Thanks to the NYU and Cooper Union proximity, you can find plenty on the subject of art, design, and philosophy at this quiet shop. Best sellers and reading groups round out this downtown staple.

9. East Village Books

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99 St. Mark's Pl.
New York, NY 10009
(212) 477-8647
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East Village Books is definitely an alternative experience to the elevatored multi-floor super stores. Come here to sell your books or pick up some used copies. Leave with some East Village clout.

10. McNally Jackson Books

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52 Prince St.
New York, NY 10012
(212) 274-1160
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This two-level gem in Soho is surprisingly spacious and laid back. Come for the books (or fashion magazines), stay for the Stumptown coffee. Or vice versa.

11. WORD

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126 Franklin Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 383-0096
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This friendly, orderly bookshop in Greenpoint stocks a well-edited selection, including kids' titles, stationery, and small gifts. Book clubs and unique events, like a midnight Murakami party, suit the quirky clientele.

12. Spoonbill & Sugartown Books

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218 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 387-7322
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Meet Williamsburg's go-too book seller. With a smear of inventory for all genres, you can probably find a classic or a newer release on their shelves. There's also a good stationery selection for the Bedford Ave shopper (read: utilitarian notebooks and leterpressed greeting cards).

13. BookCourt

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163 Court St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 875-3677
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Loved by locals for its extensive offerings and active events calendar, BookCourt offers reading groups for teens, Spanish titles, and for people who just like "big fat books."

14. The Community Bookstore

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212 Court St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 834-9494
Visit Website
The Community Bookstore fits the dark, crowded bookstore stereotype, but it's full of enough curiosities to be worth the digging. Join the (free) Frequent Buyers Club Thingie and receive $10 off every rolling $100 you spend.

15. Greenlight Bookstore

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686 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 246-0200
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This bright, well-organized shop has a little bit of everything. If they don't carry a book you're looking for, they'll order it for you and notify you by e-mail. There's a good events lineup, especially beloved for Baby Story Time.

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1. Book Culture

536 West 112th Street, New York, NY 10025
This uptown shop carries a vast selection of books dedicated to the arts and humanities, and stocks scholarly titles for students and post-grads alike. If you can't find what you're looking for here, there's also another location nearby at Broadway at 114th Street.
536 West 112th Street
New York, NY 10025

2. Westsider Books

2124 Broadway, New York, NY 10024
Westsider Books sells a little bit of everything, from used titles to hard-to-find copies and even $3 DVDs. They're also more than willing to fill that niche void in your life. Their website explains: "Do you have a special area of interest? Depression Era Shoes? Kabuki? Yorkshire Terriers? Unusual Joyce Items? Send us an email and go on file, we'll call you when it comes in."
2124 Broadway
New York, NY 10024

3. Kinokuniya Bookstore

1073 6th Ave., New York, NY 10036
Scour Japanese fashion magazines and books at this Midtown shop, which also boasts a cute second-floor cafe. If Japanese isn't your second language, you'll be able to peruse a selection of popular English books, stationery, pens, and more.
1073 6th Ave.
New York, NY 10036

4. Idlewild Books

12 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011
Planning a trip abroad? Stop by Idlewild first to stock up on travel guides, instructional language books, and foreign literature. They also offer Italian, French, Spanish, and Arabic classes, and have a location in Cobble Hill.
12 W 19th St
New York, NY 10011

5. Books of Wonder

18 W 18th St., New York, NY 10011
If you're an avid reader now, you probably started when you were young. Books of Wonder on West 18th Street is for the moms and dads in the audience—head here for the best of children's literature, including new books, old and rare copies, and art.
18 W 18th St.
New York, NY 10011

6. Three Lives & Company

154 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014
Whether you want to browse solo or receive personal recommendations from the staff, Three Lives in the West Village is a safe haven for bibliophiles to whom Kindle is a four letter word. The shop prides itself on handling special order "meticulously" and also frequently hosts author readings.
154 W 10th St
New York, NY 10014

7. Strand Book Store

828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
If you're looking to get lost for an entire afternoon—or day, or week, or month—Strand is the most obvious choice. As the slogan goes, there are 18 miles of books to choose from.
828 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

8. St. Mark's Bookshop

31 3rd Ave., New York, NY 10003
Thanks to the NYU and Cooper Union proximity, you can find plenty on the subject of art, design, and philosophy at this quiet shop. Best sellers and reading groups round out this downtown staple.
31 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10003

9. East Village Books

99 St. Mark's Pl., New York, NY 10009
East Village Books is definitely an alternative experience to the elevatored multi-floor super stores. Come here to sell your books or pick up some used copies. Leave with some East Village clout.
99 St. Mark's Pl.
New York, NY 10009

10. McNally Jackson Books

52 Prince St., New York, NY 10012
This two-level gem in Soho is surprisingly spacious and laid back. Come for the books (or fashion magazines), stay for the Stumptown coffee. Or vice versa.
52 Prince St.
New York, NY 10012

11. WORD

126 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222
This friendly, orderly bookshop in Greenpoint stocks a well-edited selection, including kids' titles, stationery, and small gifts. Book clubs and unique events, like a midnight Murakami party, suit the quirky clientele.
126 Franklin Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222

12. Spoonbill & Sugartown Books

218 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211
Meet Williamsburg's go-too book seller. With a smear of inventory for all genres, you can probably find a classic or a newer release on their shelves. There's also a good stationery selection for the Bedford Ave shopper (read: utilitarian notebooks and leterpressed greeting cards).
218 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211

13. BookCourt

163 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Loved by locals for its extensive offerings and active events calendar, BookCourt offers reading groups for teens, Spanish titles, and for people who just like "big fat books."
163 Court St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

14. The Community Bookstore

212 Court St., Brooklyn, NY 11201
The Community Bookstore fits the dark, crowded bookstore stereotype, but it's full of enough curiosities to be worth the digging. Join the (free) Frequent Buyers Club Thingie and receive $10 off every rolling $100 you spend.
212 Court St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201

15. Greenlight Bookstore

686 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217
This bright, well-organized shop has a little bit of everything. If they don't carry a book you're looking for, they'll order it for you and notify you by e-mail. There's a good events lineup, especially beloved for Baby Story Time.
686 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217