New York City is a dazzling treasure trove, full of adventures that would intrigue any human – but it is especially a haven for those who prefer books to beings. There is a useful bookstore or library around every corner that has an anthology for everything under the sun you can think of, and we thought we would help you out by putting together our finds from the top two boroughs for bookworms, so you can find apartments near these places to get your next book fix.
Starting off strong, of course we have Manhattan with the New York Public Library, the Morgan Library, and of course the Strand. The New York Public Library, specifically the main branch, is adjacent to Bryant Park, and is every bookworm’s dream. There are tours of the Schwarzman Building in particular, and a massive amount of history hidden in these halls for anyone looking to do a self-directed tour.
Next, we have the Morgan Library off 36th and Madison, that houses the most incredible classics, as well as a two-story vault where the original proprietor, Pierpont Morgan, stored his most loved books. There are three floors of books alone, with the two upper levels behind hidden staircases. Additionally, there is the Strand in Broadway, with its countless tomes, and multiple floors to explore – this store was originally in an area called Book Row, which had numerous booksellers that all closed, except the Strand.
If you are looking for booksellers, especially unique booksellers, we recommend Argosy, off E 59th, and Mast Books off Avenue A, for rare and out of print volumes that might tickle your fancy. Lastly, another gem we also recommend is Mysterious Book Shop, off Warren Street, which has a knack for stocking rare and collectible crime and suspense titles – rather expedient, for those of us who are fond of our Agatha Christies and Sherlock Holmes.
And, sure, when we’re talking about top two boroughs for bookworms, we recognize it’s two of five – but our next choice comes a close second in this race. Brooklyn has many bookstores, but if you are looking to live close to some to supplement your book habit, we suggest the Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, and Clinton Hill areas. They have neighborhood favorites such as McNally Jackson Books, which is an independent bookseller that also has branches in Nolita and Williamsburg. You can shop their staff picks in store or online and explore the themes that they showcase regularly.
Another amazing independent-bookseller option is Books are Magic. Books are Magic offers Monthly Book Subscriptions, and they are affiliates of the Brooklyn Book Bodega program, which allows buyers to donate money for books, or donate books directly, to increase literacy among Brooklyn children.
If you move slightly more north into Williamsburg, you will find Spoonbill & Sugartown, known for rare books, right next to Book Thug nation, which hosts special events, and stocks volumes steeped in literature, poetry, theory, and radical politics. Moreover, along the same vein of Book Thug Nation, you can find Quimby’s Bookstore just a few blocks away, with a mix of books, divination tools, and taxidermy, carefully curated for the interested reader.
So there are our top two boroughs for bookworms – along with recommendations for bookstores. We know there are other fantastic neighborhoods and nooks for booklovers – so let us know if you have found other hidden gems within the city!