Quirky, independent bookshops add character and warmth to the neighborhoods they’re in. New York State is blessed with an abundance of them, from bookstore cafés that benefit charities to shops that serve local beer right beside the paperbacks. These are the 10 greatest bookstores in New York.
Located in Nolita, this independent bookstore has been thriving since it opened its doors in 2004. The shop offers a finely curated collection of literature as well as a coffee shop and a self-publishing center.
With over 10,000 new books spanning every genre, art supplies, gifts, and a bar with local beer on tap, Spotty Dog is a hotspot for Hudson’s literary-minded. Adding to the “cool” factor, the store is located in an 1800s firehouse.
Talking Leaves is the oldest independent bookstore in Buffalo, with thousands of titles and an outdoor patio for reading in fair weather. The bookstore is also a co-op, offering special perks for members.
This quaint, colorful, independent bookshop in Woodstock serves as a gathering place for readers and writers in the community. It was named after the owner’s favorite Doris Lessing novel.
A three-level bookstore in the heart of downtown Ithaca, Autumn Leaves has a lot to offer. Local browsers, tourists, and academics explore the selection of over 50,000 used titles—and vinyl records in the basement.
Warm, cozy, and comfortable, Green Toad is an ideal habitat for book lovers in Oneonta. The shop takes special orders, hosts events, and opens up into the coffee shop next door.
This Greenwich Village mainstay occupies a little corner on West 10th Street. The old-fashioned bookstore offers a tastefully curated selection that draws bookish types through its bright red doors.
A volunteer-run operation, the Housing Works Bookstore & Café boasts a beautiful interior and a large selection of unique titles. One hundred percent of the bookstore’s profits go to the non-profit Housing Works, which supports those living with HIV and AIDS.
Long Island’s largest independent bookstore is consistently voted its best by residents. The family-owned store is massive, having more than tripled in size since it opened its doors in 1977.
Opened in 1927, this iconic East Village bookstore has been featured in numerous movies and is known for its enormous collection of “new, used, and rare” books and its unionized staff.