As our world is swiftly becoming gobbled up by all technologies and we humans transformed by them more and more into a form of mechanized new beings less patient, less attentive to tactile surfaces and sensations, we inevitably lose our passions for lesser things especially those that still carry old values deemed burdensome in weight and space and patience. One of those lesser things these days clearly would be books - actual and organic. It's a sad fact therefore to witness today the clear death knell and slow strangulation of paper-issued books into possible oblivion.
Tho this may appear to be the handwriting on the wall, there is at the same time a huge struggle to reverse its ill-effects and thus prevent its thorough and complete demise. Real book afficionados continue to buy and read books and actual bookstores and what remain of them persist (tho clearly diminishing daily in numbers) and eke out a survival.
In New York City alone most big time booksellers have long gone. One of those that go ahead proudly persists to honorably standout is the triumphant Strand Bookstore near Union Square. It's been around since 1927 and going strong now attracting die-hard paper book readers and those with change of heart from the cold and unfeeling electronic reader.
The Strand has this long-running slogan of "18 miles of new, used and rare books" which indeed backs up their incredible stock of all kinds and many many books. I love coming to Strand - which I do every weekend practically - to pick up another pocket-size reader usually a Penguin classic which by the way their books are sold mostly at half-price which is the perfect crowd-draw and pleaser. But the Strand is more than just a classic bookstore. they also sell gift items such as stationaries, travel accessories, gift cards and postcards, tote and messenger bags and even their own brand of wear. What is of great interest to many book lovers too is the fact that the Strand continues to be a full supporter of buying back old and used books of all kinds. But above all, the Strand is a great hangout for special kind obviously, a consoler of intellectual values, a retreat, a perfect refuge from a world well-hard wired and less-poetic.
Store hours: Mon-Sat 9:30A-10:30P
I just found my new favorite bookstore! I know it seems like I say that every time I travel to a new city, but this time I really, really mean it! The Strand, which celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2007, offers an impressive selection of books at bargain prices: they've got second-hand books, but they also have a lot of brand new half-price books. I could have spent an entire day browsing through the jam-packed bookshelves that gave the store its motto (16 miles of books). Next time I go to NYC, I plan on bringing an empty suitcase that I can fill with books at the Strand!
What to buy: If you're not sure what to get, you can look up the Strand 80, the store's Top 80 books as selected by its customers for its 80th anniversary.
What to pay: Pretty much half what you would pay in a regular bookstore.
Ok I have not been to every used book store in New York but I cannot imagine another better than the Strand. This is a New York mainstay for book lovers (like me). Walk into the place and you discover countless aisles of books that look like canyon walls. There are supposedly eight miles of aisles full of books and 2.5 million volumes in total. Why I love this place is that I have been able to find books here I cannot find anywhere else, except by internet. The prices are also very cheap. They also sell alot of recently released books at reduced cost.
What to buy: The history section is particularly rich in books, so much so that I could have spent all day here.
This place is such a cool place to check out whether or not you are in need of a book. You walk in here and there are bookcases totally packed and they go up to the ceiling! There is absolutely every single kind of book in the world. You won't want to go to Barnes & Noble after you go here. Oh yeah and everything in here is discounted by at least 10% if not by much more.
What to buy: Any kind of book type there is. I love going here for cookbooks though
What to pay: $1.00 & up, outside of the shop they have a bunch of stands with books for a dollar, all different types
The Strand is the best! Open late most nights, it is THE place to browse & find a bargain. They have the book you just saw at Barnes & Noble for half price. They have books you will never see anywhere else. It's an institution. You may need a bigger suitcase after looking there.
What to buy: Buy a Strand T-shirt, some rare books & a few bargain books. Go upstairs to the Art section!
What to pay: 25 cents and up
Everyone in Manhattan knows the Strand. Any hard-to-find book that you can't find in run-of-the-mill stores (i.e. Barnes and Noble) can likely be found at the Strand. They have an amazing collection of old, new, used, worn books and you'll always find something. The search is half the fun! :-)
What to buy: A Stand T-shirt, totebag, a picture book of NYC, postcards
What to pay: anywhere from $1 to $50+, depending on what you get, obviously.
Have you just read about a new killer mystery in the New York Times but you don't want to pay full price? If you hurry, you might find it in the stacks at the Strand. Not a place for the weak of heart, or the obsessive compulsive, the Strand is like a book lover's basement. It is chaotic, dusty, and filled to the brim with books. The basement has reviewer's copies, six each, for just about every new hardcover that comes out. Only catch is that you need to know the author's name; there are too many here for any of the staff to help you.
What to pay: Half price for all reviewers copies; everything else is marked at a discount.
Another good book store:))
The store is located at the corner of 12th Street and Broadway.
Monday-Saturday 9:30 AM-10:30 PM
Sunday 11:00 AM-10:30 PM
Take the N R Q W 4 5 6 or L train to Union Square. Walk two blocks South to 12th street.
(at 12th St.)
New York, NY. 10003-4805
Also,The Strand Book Annex is located downtown near the Financial District and the South Street Seaport shopping area.
Monday-Friday 9:30 AM-9:00 PM
Saturday-Sunday 11:00 AM-8:00 PM
Take the 4 5 A C J M Z 1 or 2 train to Fulton/Broadway-Nassau.
95 Fulton Street
(3 blocks east of Broadway)
New York, NY. 10038-2803
What to buy: Used and new books
This huge corner store has "18 Miles of Books", literally.. You could spend hours and hours browsing new and old books. You could probably find really hard to get books, rare editions and also catch up on new authors.
What to buy: I especially recommend the following:
1) Checking the $1.00 bins outside the store first. Just stopped there the other day and picked up 3 books for $3, you can't beat that. I found some really neat poetry, philisophy, and history books. I picked up a relativey new fiction novel, and two poetry books.
2) Also a great place to buy classic novels by the foot to outfit your home or office library. Prices vary but you can get really nice hardcover books for under $10 of the classic tales. EX. Gulliver's Travels, Huckelberry Finn etc.
What to pay: All prices vary according to the book and how rare it is..
Okay, I know, I know. Who buys books when you're on a city vacation?
But, it's worth a stop.
They have "reviewer copy" books. Technically, they aren't the final cut of the books but, the only thing some of them are missing are, you guessed it, the reviews!
Publishing companies send out the books to reviewers and then, somehow, The Strand buys them back (for what they charge, they must get them for peanuts from the reviewers!!)
So, if you have any books you want to pick up that cost in and around what college textbooks costed when you were in school, check them out!
They are 50% off the cover price.
**In the warmer months, the Strand sets up a few booths near 59th at Central Park if you just want to grab a book and head into the park... if you're looking for a big selection, head over to the Broadway /12th location!
What to buy: "Reviewer copy" books
They have all the new books, but without the reviews and without the crazy costs!
What to pay: They are 50% off the cover price.
This place is great. Two floors worth of used books, all in excellent condition, and with a great selection. The Strand is basically a legend in this city, and the people that work here, many of them students, are well aware of that: they are nice and seem to have read at least one of the books in the store (unlike other places).
If you can't find a book anywhere - because it's out of print or because it's out of the ordinary - the Strand is your best chance. You can also shop online at www.strandbooks.com
The Strand likes to advertise itself with the claim to have eight miles of books. We’re not sure of the distance, but there’s no denying this is one of the most book-crammed spaces around. It’s mostly second-hand, with the shelves stretching right to the ceiling, everything from sci-fi paperbacks to hundreds of cookbooks, and even a decent selection of books on tape downstairs (where we purchased a couple of books that got us through a cross-country road trip!). We spent most of our time in among the cookbooks, getting ideas for the next meal, and sometimes just getting lost in the pictures of dishes we could only dream about making. There are people who browse for weeks on end in here: the staff probably don’t even throw them out at night!
What to buy: They have, predictably enough, a great section on New York, old and new, and there's also an extremely good travel section, with plenty of discounted titles and second-hand books that look like they've barely been used.
This is a great used bookstore--be prepared to spend a lot of time in here! They have it all, and I especially like the selection of art books--it's endless. Downstairs they have foreign language books--I always check for books in Italian. Insider's tip: there is no air conditioning, so I don't recommend going on a very hot day, you will absolutely melt because it feels like you are in someone's attic with the door shut!!
What to buy: Inexpensive used books.
What to pay: Much cheaper than new!!
Known as the store with "eight miles of books," you can find anything at Strand. It has been in business since 1927, and at its present location since 1956.
The store has thousands of new titles at 50% off. They have reviewers copies for sale at excellent prices. They have the largest rare book collection in New York City.
What to buy: Anything in print.
Strand also sells books by the foot for those interested in starting a library at home.
What to pay: New leather classics at $175 per foot
Antique leather in good condition at $350 per foot
Hardcover biographies of great historical figures at $100 per foot
Leather-looking books at $75 per foot
Hardcover fiction at $50 per foot
Hardcover bargain "variety" chosen from our new and used overstock at $10 per foot
If you are a book lover, do not pass up a trip to The Strand. This fabulous store is the largest used book store in the world. The books are tagged up to 85% off list price. They sell secondhand, out-of-print and rare books priced $1.00 - $100.000. Downstairs are the review copies sold for 50% off list.
What to buy: Used books at a steep discount
What to pay: $1.00 and up