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By now, books are pretty much my brand. After moving to New York City earlier this year, I’ve done my fair share of exploring some of the best bookstores the city has to offer. Here are my favorites, so far!

The Strand: East Village, 828 Broadway

No list of NYC bookstores would be complete without mentioning the Strand, and this bookstore is well worth the hype. With miles of bookshelves full of both new and used books, every genre under the sun, and four different floors, you can spend hours there exploring (and I have!). Other than books, their tote bags are iconic and they have so many other little things like stickers and pins to buy. Going into the Strand fills me with a sense of happiness every time. 

McNally Jackson: Nolita, 52 Prince St.

McNally Jackson is another large, independent bookstore that I love going to. It’s got a very clean, aesthetic appearance, and sells mostly new books. In non-COVID times, there are benches where you can sit and read, and an attached café. It’s another place you can spend hours in, reading and shopping, and I absolutely love going inside! 

Book Culture: Morningside Heights, 536 W 112th

I’m pretty sure most people at Columbia already know about Book Culture, but it’s still worth mentioning anyway. It has a much smaller, more chill vibe than the other stores on this list. It’s very cozy and feels like home, and the staff is always super nice. While the selection is not as large as the other two, you’re bound to find something you love in there.

Kinokuniya: Midtown, 1073 Avenue of the Americas

Kinokuniya is a lot different from the other bookstores on this list. While it does have a big selection of books you’d typically find in an American bookstore, the top level of the store is all manga: both translated and untranslated. The bottom level is also full of stationary and little gifts as well, so there’s something for everyone. I think this bookstore is highly underrated and is definitely worth a trip to Midtown. 

So there are a few of my favorite bookstores in New York City! I hope you found a new place to check out! 

Francesca DeGiorgio

Columbia Barnard '24

Francesca (she/her) is a sophomore at Barnard College majoring in English and minoring in History. She's originally from Los Angeles, California. She loves reading, writing, astrology, and watching way too much tv.
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