Uptown Manhattan Bookstores
There are thousands of small bookstores in New York, each with their
own special character. At smaller stores, the employees are usually
familiar with the merchandise and capable of giving intelligent
advice. We encourage you to support small businesses; to them, each
- Applause Books
211 W 71st west of Broadway, 212-496-7511, FAX 212-721-2856
- They specialize in film and theatre; some books that can be found
- Asian Rare Books
175 W. 93 Street(16-D) New York, N.Y. 10025
- Business by appointment. To visit phone 316 5334.
Old & rare books about all ASIA. Website http://www.erols.com/arbs
- Bank Street College Bookstore
2879 Broadway, 212-678-1654, FAX
- Education and academic; also children's books. They take phone
orders and ship worldwide. "Equal to the West Side Barnes & Noble
on hardcover picture books, better on softcover; probably smaller
stock on chapter books, almost no series." Credit cards: AE, MC, V.
- The Book Ark
173 W 81st at Amsterdam Ave, 212-787-3914,
- Used hardcovers and paperbacks, in all subjects, including foreign
titles. Academic titles, especially philosophy, in both English and
other major European languages are a particular strength. Also has
LPs and CDs.
- The Corner Bookstore
1313 Madison Ave at 93rd, 212-831-3554
- They specialize in children's books and travel books, but they also
have a film connection: not only is this the bookstore where Nick
Nolte found the "Renata Halpern" children's book in THE PRINCE OF
TIDES, it's also just one block south of the red brick
fortress/castle facade featured in THE FISHER KING.
- East West Books
78 5th Ave, 212-243-5994
- Stocks books on Buddhism, Taoism, Sufism, Indian Religions; also New
Age, self-improvement, health and healing. Cards, jewelry, audio
tapes, incense. Good-sized stock. (Also has a downtown store.)
- Funny Business
660b Amsterdam, 212-799-9477
- Comic books. Smallish.
- Gryphon Bookshop
2246 Broadway btwn 80th & 81st, also at 233 W72nd, 212-362-0706
- They have a nice selection of used books, and will do active
searches. Enormous literature and history sections. Has charm.
The recently expanded new store is on Broadway and is new and shiny;
the old store used to be around the corner (at 246 W 80th off
Broadway) but is apparently closed now. The Gryphon is probably one
of the world centers for Wizard of Oz books. "This place was
crammed with books, but there were so many people crammed in there
too (not to mention the German shepherd tied to the staircase) that
I didn't feel encouraged to stick around and browse." The Annex
in/near the old store supposedly sells everything there for 50% off
the marked price. "OK, but too expensive." They also have LPs.
- Ideal Book Store
1125 Amsterdam at 115th, 212-662-1909
- Almost exclusively a humanities and social sciences bookstore.
"Ideal has the best philosophy collection in New York, and that
includes the Strand. They also have a very extensive collection of
Judaica. The books are used but the proprietor is a stickler for
only shelving books in the best possible condition. I recently went
looking for a biography of and primary works by Simone Weil and
Ideal had everything I needed where most places--again, including
the Strand, which I love--had very little." .
- International Center of Photography Bookstore
1133 Ave of Americas,
- Photography books.
- The Judaica Experience
226 W 72nd, phone/FAX 212-724-2424
- A very good collection of Judaica and good children's books and
tapes. They sell primarily gifts, books, and tapes. The owners are
very helpful and attentive. Their prices seemed to match or was
cheaper (for gifts) than West Side Judaica, and they will wrap and
ship via UPS.
- Kitchen Arts & Letters, Inc.
1435 Lexington Ave at 93rd, 212-876-5550
- Quoting from their brochure: "the country's largest store devoted
completely to books on food and wine. With well over 7000 cooking
titles and access to thousands of out-of-print titles through our
free search service..." From a reader: "While the sale prices at
Jessica's Biscuit beat these peoples' full-list prices, this
probably is a good place to keep in mind for unusual and hard to
find cookery books. Sounds like a fun place to browse, in any
case..." Does credit card and phone orders.
- The Last Word
118th and Amsterdam, 212-864-0013
- They buy and sell used books and have some first editions, collected
works, etc. Good place to look for out of print books and
inexpensive books on subjects that you would like to know about but
don't want to spend money on. Recently renovated and reopened under
new management. "Strong to very strong literature/fiction and
literary criticism section. Strong in philosophy, religion, and
international history. Significant African-American, women, and
Judaica studies sections along with poetry and plays. Small, but
select, children's books. Okay in foreign language, film/theatre,
art, psychology, music, and reference (though they have several good
encyclopedia sets). Weak in business & economics, computers,
cookbooks, sports, U.S. history, political science, biography, and
photography. Almost no genre fiction." Credit cards: AE, MC, V.
- Lenox Hill Bookstore
- Libreria Moria
628 W 207, 212-304-2197
- Spanish-language books.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art Museum Store
5th Ave & 82nd, 212-570-3726
- They have neat art books, posters, engagement calendars, videos,
- The Military Bookman
29 E 93rd btwn 5th & Madison Aves, 212-348-1280
- Specializing in used military books. Their selection is excellent,
but they are usually a bit pricey. It's the sort of place that
military buffs all know about, but call only as a last resort. They
issue a catalog (about 3 times a year), and otherwise engage in mail
order. (One poster reports that they contacted him recently about a
book he had told them he was looking for at least three years ago,
so they keep track of these things.) They just started taking
credit card orders, and presumably will now do phone orders.
- Murder Ink
2486 Broadway btwn 92nd & 93rd, 212-362-8905, firstname.lastname@example.org
- As you might suspect, it specializes in mysteries and has a very
good collection (as did The Mysterious Bookstore). Founded in 1972,
they have a framed letter from "Ellery Queen" wishing them well on
their opening. The store and the stock are now arranged
alphabetically for almost all books (they used to be in
subcategories, e.g., "Mysteries with Priests"). The many shelves
are labelled at the top "Mystery A-Z." There is a section of True
Crime and an alcove with out of prints. A display of new hardback
releases and one shelf of Edgar winners rounds out the categories.
"If the person I talked to is any sample, the in-store,
meet-the-customer people know mysteries."
- Paperback Discounter Filmfest Video
580 Amsterdam, 917-441-8881
- There are lots of used and otherwise discounted paperbacks, but the
collection, which is eclectic and interesting, is--by those very
attributes--not very reliable. (They also rent videotapes, and if
you look mainly at the signs in the window you'll notice an ad for
VCR repair that might distract you from the display of paperbacks in
- Papyrus Books Inc.
2915 Broadway at 114th, 212-222-3350
- A fairly large collection of left-wing books and magazines (on film,
literature, etc., as well as politics). "Papyrus Books is
absolutely great. They specialize in political philosophy, but have
a pretty good history section downstairs and carry some computer
stuff, too. Most of all, every person who works there seems
knowledgeable about books--e.g., no one asks you for an ISBN number
instead of a title or author, as is liable to happen at B&N etc.
I've even had the desk-person at Papyrus tell me that if I didn't
have the $3.50 right at that moment, I should just drop back in and
pay it later." Another says, "I'm not sure if they're worth a
special trip, but check them out if you're in the neighborhood."
- Paraclete Book Center
146 E 74th btwn Lexington & 3rd Aves,
- A medium-sized religious bookstore, if one's religion coincides with
the New Testament.
- Posman Books
1 university place, 212-533-2665, also at 70 5th Ave, 212-633-2525, and, 9 Grand Central Terminal Banderbilt and 42nd, 212-533-2665
- A very good bookstore with many of Barnard's textbooks, plus a
generally strong selection and helpful staff. Surprising
Russian-language section in the back. Formerly Barnard Book
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Shop
1071 5th Ave btwn 88th & 89th,
- Modern art.
- Teachers College Bookstore
1224 Amsterdam at 120th, 212-678-3992, 212-678-3920
- Children's books (first phone number) and classroom materials
and teachers' books (second phone number).
- Ursus Books Ltd.
981 Madison btwn 76th & 77th, 212-772-8787
- New and out-of-print art books and catalogues. "A repository of the
truly fine and the outrageously hard-to-find in books on the work of
artists (corpus). There are some few brilliant elucidations on
approaching the materia with which art is forged. The collection on
personae and period has real depth and breadth--evermore an
accomplishment for such a select vinyard, but the champagne-like
elan everywhere dripping is as rarified in its occurance as it is in
its expense." [This apparently means their art books are book art,
and their selection is a collection.] (Also has a downtown
- West Side Judaica
2412 Broadway btwn 88th & 89th, 212-362-7846
- From a quick perusal, a store of substance, but also one with a
sense of humor as their seasonal menorah display in the window
includes one that has Claymation-like dreidels playing jazz.
Thanks to Evelyn C. Leeper for some of this information.