Nyc Bookstores

July 23, 2014 · By Sloane Davidson, Founder and CEO, Hello Neighbor

As an indomitable book lover and incessant reader, I love good independent bookstores. Whenever I'm near one, my inner compass points in that direction. I find bookstores incredibly romantic, wandering the aisles, looking through stacks of books to read, coming across books I remember reading and remembering where I was in my life when I read them and finding hidden gems.

In New York, I have lots of favorite book haunts. It's an ever-changing growing list, if I'm headed to a new neighborhood, I always seek out the local bookstore.

I call this post, places to BUY a book in NYC because it really irks me that most of the posts about NYC bookstores are called *"places to visit."* Parks and museums are places you visit. Bookstores are places you visit too but with the intention of buying a book. If you're visiting a bookstore, please buy a book if you see something you like. Don't take a photo and then go home and order it.

I started this post with the intention of writing something unique and quippy about each bookstore - they have amazing live readings! great bookstore cats! swoon-worthy bookish employees! the best staff picks in town! to die for letterpress selections! clever Instagram accounts! - but honestly they ALL have unique personality traits that make them special and a perfect fit for the neighborhood that they're in. I felt like I was repeating myself.

Bookstores are special places - I might go so far as to call them institutions (whoa) - even if they're new and not storied parts of a community. So if you're in a part of NYC and want to get a real sense of the flavor of the neighborhood, find the local bookstore.

My top 12 NYC bookstores

For those book lovers like me, you might notice that I have not included NYC's specialty book stores (like cooking, mystery books, travel, kids, architecture, comics). You'll also not see museum bookstores, mention of the awesome library system and the little-known book speakeasy. Those are all saved for separate posts to come soon!