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Photo: Driely S. for Racked
Photo: Driely S. for Racked

Take Note: 20 of the Best Stationery Shops in New York City

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Photo: Driely S. for Racked

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Here's a bit of #tbt trivia for you: When was the last time you sent a handwritten note in the mail? (And no, writing out the check to your building management company doesn't count). It's certainly easier these days to fire off a quick text or email to thank your friend for sending you a housewarming present or dog-sitting for the weekend, but an emoji-less letter on cute stationery—whether stock or personalized—has an old-school touch of class that will not go out of style anytime soon.

Below, we've mapped out 20 of the city's best shops for anything and everything stationery, from boxed sets of thank-you notes and kitschy birthday cards to personalized letterhead and party invitations. Check out the shops below, ranging from well-known chains to neighborhood mom-and-pops, and get inspired to back away from the keyboard.

Additional research by Roderic David

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Blacker and Kooby by Vanessa

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Come to this Upper East Side spot, which relocated to Lexington Avenue after 50 years on Madison Avenue, when you know exactly what you want. Customization is the name of the game here, starting with simple thank-you notes and working up to frame-worthy bar/bat mitzvah and wedding invitations. [Photo]

Stationery & Toy World

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"Stores like this simply do not exist anymore, except perhaps in small towns or beloved memories," one (of several) five-star Yelp review begins. Aside with providing the Upper West Side with a great selection of children's toys (Village Voice even named it the best toy store last year), the family-owned business also has a solid selection of paper goods, pens, and more. [Photo

EAF Fine Papers

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Take the time to select the right paper and lettering for your personalized stationery at this Upper West Side studio, stocking up on engraved correspondence cards and letterhead. The store also offers monogramming on a variety of gift options, from candle votives to miniature soaps. [Photo]

Il Papiro

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Featuring paper made in the Tuscan tradition, customers will find note cards, address books, leather-bound journals, and a variety of pens ready for purchase in the Florentine-inspired shop on the Upper East Side. Their extensive collection of marbleized paper products is unrivaled, too. [Photo]

Smythson

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Amid elegant women's purses and men's leather accessories are luxurious yet simple stationery options: correspondence cards in blue and white, fill-in-the-blank invitations, and leather-bound pocket notebooks. You can also use their website to handily preview what your customized business card or letterhead will look like before you order. [Photo]

MUJI Times Square

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Those who like minimalist design will appreciate the Japanese store's stationery section, featuring no-nonsense paper and envelopes made of either cotton or recycled materials. [Photo]

Cursive New York

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Pop into this Grand Central store for a birthday card or love note before hopping a on a train. You can also find Cursive, run by locals Douglas Duncan and Michael Schultz, tucked inside ABC Carpet + Home in Flatiron.[Photo]

Papyrus

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We would be remiss to exclude the beacon of bedazzled birthday cards from this list. The beauty of these cards, neatly arranged by hue, is that they're a great substitute for when you forget to buy an actual present. They also offer boxed note cards, thank you notes, invitations, and more. [Photo]

Village Invites

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In this by-appointment-only studio, find elegant and engraved personalized stationery options with modern motifs that bring letter-writing to the present day. Their downtown location at 20 East 13th Street is open for browsing (read: you don't need to call ahead) on most weekdays, if you're not quite ready to commit. [Photo]

Paper Presentation

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There likely isn't a stationery store in all of Manhattan with this much frontage. The massive store contains everything you could ever need made out of paper, from boxed cards to wrapping paper to every variety of envelope you could need. Talk to a sales associate about customized printing options for personal letterhead or wedding invitations. [Photo]

Greenwich Letterpress

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If the bright and cheery atmosphere of this shop doesn't immediately perk you up, we don't know what will. The sister-owners here specialize in—of course—letterpress, so all of the personalized stationery here has an artisinal touch. The retail shop has ready-to-go thank you cards that you can buy individually or in sets. [Photo]

JAM Paper & Envelope

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Here's your simple solution for finding your basic paper needs in every color and every size, as they boast. The thank-you cards and note cards here might not be sassy, but the simple designs of these are reflected in their affordable prices. [Photo]

Essex Card Shop

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This neighborhood spot might not be the fanciest place on our map, but the small business on Avenue A is perfect for quickly picking up a birthday card or boxed notecards—but leave yourself a few minutes to check out the vintage-looking postcards featuring non-cheesy shots of New York out front. [Photo]

Paper Source

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Paper Source got its start more than three decades ago in Chicago and now has dozens of stores across the country, including six spread out among Manhattan and Brooklyn (the first one opened in Cobble Hill in 2010). In the Soho store, find stationery sets for both everyday and holiday, all of which can be customized to your liking. [Photo]

Kate's Paperie

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The urge to ditch your computer and opt for solely handwritten communication is strong upon walking into Kate's Paperie, which offers ready-to-go boxed sets of cards and notes alongside decorative papers, greeting cards, notebooks, and New York City-themed items. [Photo]

Bowne & Co. Stationers

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Tucked in the historic South Street Seaport area is this small-batch printing firm that was originally founded in 1775. It's rolled into the museum here and doesn't have customization options, but you can pick up hand-printed cards made by master printer Robert Warner that you won't find anywhere else. [Photo]

Dabney Lee

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The picturesque Dumbo shop is all about personalization here, with brightly patterned boxed sets (hot pink chevron, anyone?) complimenting their invitation and announcement services. [Photo]

Papél New York

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The Court Street shop opened in late 2009 carrying cutesy small-brand stationers (that, according to their site, are "more than just a giggle") and soon expanded to customized invitations for weddings. [Photo]

Foxy & Winston

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The Red Hook shop that opened in 2009 carries beautiful letterpress-printed and flat cards ready to carry out of the store, or store owner Jane Buck will walk you through the process of having her create a personalized illustration or logo placed on letterhead, calling cards, or envelopes. [Photo]

Lion In The Sun

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Park Slope has relied on this shop since 200 for fine paper products that don't have a harmful effect on the environment—several of the brands carried here are made with recycled products. They're great for both boxed sets of save the dates and note cards and customized options for thank you notes and invitations. [Photo]

Blacker and Kooby by Vanessa

Come to this Upper East Side spot, which relocated to Lexington Avenue after 50 years on Madison Avenue, when you know exactly what you want. Customization is the name of the game here, starting with simple thank-you notes and working up to frame-worthy bar/bat mitzvah and wedding invitations. [Photo]

Stationery & Toy World

"Stores like this simply do not exist anymore, except perhaps in small towns or beloved memories," one (of several) five-star Yelp review begins. Aside with providing the Upper West Side with a great selection of children's toys (Village Voice even named it the best toy store last year), the family-owned business also has a solid selection of paper goods, pens, and more. [Photo

EAF Fine Papers

Take the time to select the right paper and lettering for your personalized stationery at this Upper West Side studio, stocking up on engraved correspondence cards and letterhead. The store also offers monogramming on a variety of gift options, from candle votives to miniature soaps. [Photo]

Il Papiro

Featuring paper made in the Tuscan tradition, customers will find note cards, address books, leather-bound journals, and a variety of pens ready for purchase in the Florentine-inspired shop on the Upper East Side. Their extensive collection of marbleized paper products is unrivaled, too. [Photo]

Smythson

Amid elegant women's purses and men's leather accessories are luxurious yet simple stationery options: correspondence cards in blue and white, fill-in-the-blank invitations, and leather-bound pocket notebooks. You can also use their website to handily preview what your customized business card or letterhead will look like before you order. [Photo]

MUJI Times Square

Those who like minimalist design will appreciate the Japanese store's stationery section, featuring no-nonsense paper and envelopes made of either cotton or recycled materials. [Photo]

Cursive New York

Pop into this Grand Central store for a birthday card or love note before hopping a on a train. You can also find Cursive, run by locals Douglas Duncan and Michael Schultz, tucked inside ABC Carpet + Home in Flatiron.[Photo]

Papyrus

We would be remiss to exclude the beacon of bedazzled birthday cards from this list. The beauty of these cards, neatly arranged by hue, is that they're a great substitute for when you forget to buy an actual present. They also offer boxed note cards, thank you notes, invitations, and more. [Photo]

Village Invites

In this by-appointment-only studio, find elegant and engraved personalized stationery options with modern motifs that bring letter-writing to the present day. Their downtown location at 20 East 13th Street is open for browsing (read: you don't need to call ahead) on most weekdays, if you're not quite ready to commit. [Photo]

Paper Presentation

There likely isn't a stationery store in all of Manhattan with this much frontage. The massive store contains everything you could ever need made out of paper, from boxed cards to wrapping paper to every variety of envelope you could need. Talk to a sales associate about customized printing options for personal letterhead or wedding invitations. [Photo]

Greenwich Letterpress

If the bright and cheery atmosphere of this shop doesn't immediately perk you up, we don't know what will. The sister-owners here specialize in—of course—letterpress, so all of the personalized stationery here has an artisinal touch. The retail shop has ready-to-go thank you cards that you can buy individually or in sets. [Photo]

JAM Paper & Envelope

Here's your simple solution for finding your basic paper needs in every color and every size, as they boast. The thank-you cards and note cards here might not be sassy, but the simple designs of these are reflected in their affordable prices. [Photo]

Essex Card Shop

This neighborhood spot might not be the fanciest place on our map, but the small business on Avenue A is perfect for quickly picking up a birthday card or boxed notecards—but leave yourself a few minutes to check out the vintage-looking postcards featuring non-cheesy shots of New York out front. [Photo]

Paper Source

Paper Source got its start more than three decades ago in Chicago and now has dozens of stores across the country, including six spread out among Manhattan and Brooklyn (the first one opened in Cobble Hill in 2010). In the Soho store, find stationery sets for both everyday and holiday, all of which can be customized to your liking. [Photo]