Bookstore Bucket List: 4 Bookstores to Check out in NYC

My birthday was a few weeks ago and my husband humored me by going with me on a self-guided bookstore tour of Manhattan. Although there are many more bookstores there than I could get to in a day, we managed to visit four of them. I got some great books and had such a wonderful day. So today I thought I’d share some pictures of the bookstores I visited. (I opted not to carry around a heavy camera, so pardon the quality of these cell phone pics!)



The Strand

This is one of the most famous bookstores in NYC, and perhaps anywhere. It is also HUGE! I am actually visiting the Strand again next month with my book club, so I just stopped in for a peek at it on my tour. On this day, I just browsed through the first floor and grabbed a totebag (of course!). Then I took a quick peek at the children’s section, which is bright, cheery, and loaded with great books. There are four floors of books at the Strand, so I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. If you’re going to this bookstore, allow yourself plenty of time!

What I bought:

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

What is not Yours is not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn


The Strand is located at 828 Broadway ***





McNally Jackson

We got a little lost on the way to this store, with Google maps insisting that we had arrived, when we were actually standing in front of the McNally Jackson stationary store. But once we found the right place, I really enjoyed this one. They have two floors, with  lots of fun displays. There is also a cafe and a book printer. That’s right – you can actually publish a book in the store. There was another great children’s section here, and I also thought their mystery/thriller selection was quite good. I found two books on the “Cheap, Cheap, Cheap” table, and at this point in the day, my poor husband was probably wishing he hadn’t offered to carry my bags!

What I bought:

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (check out the BEAUTIFUL cover!)

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (the only Rowling book I’ve never read)

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris


McNally Jackson is located at 52 Prince Street ***




Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe

This bookstore is located right next to the Housing Works thrift store. It’s staffed entirely by volunteers, with profits going to Housing Works. The inside of the store is just beautiful, with curving staircases and floor to ceiling wooden shelving. Housing Works is a used bookstore, which I love because you can find all kinds of great books, and you never know what you will see there.  At this point in the day, we were getting thirsty, so we sat down at one of the cafe tables with a drink. I loved the relaxing atmosphere and the friendly staff there.



The Housing Works Bookstore and Cafe is located at 126 Crosby Street ***




The Mysterious Bookstore

Our last stop, and definitely my favorite, was The Mysterious Bookstore. This store carries mostly – you guessed it – mysteries and thrillers. I loved the floor to ceiling shelves and library ladders, although my feet stayed firmly on the ground. There were so many books to choose from here, and even though it’s a relatively small store, I know I didn’t see everything. I will definitely be visiting this one again.


What I bought:

Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler (I have been looking for a new mystery series and heard this is a good one!)

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas


The Mysterious Bookstore is located at 58 Warren Street ***



I really enjoyed the entire day and all the bookstores that I got to visit. I feel very fortunate to live near so many independent bookstores – life is good!

Do you have a favorite NYC bookstore? Leave me a message in the comments; I am already planning another trip!

2 thoughts to “Bookstore Bucket List: 4 Bookstores to Check out in NYC”

  1. I read Chains a couple weeks ago .. the school librarian gave it to me … good book and can’t wait to keep reading the rest of series…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.