Midtown 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 customer matters.

116 E 59th btwn Park & Lexington Aves, 212-753-4455, argosybk@interloc.com
They are very strong in used hardcover fiction (no SF though), particularly older things from say circa 1920, like James Branch Cabell. They also sell old prints, Americana, antique and used books, maps, and prints. People have noted that the owners are knowledgeable about the value of their books and you'll have to hunt for bargains. It is about five stories high and is one of those books-stacked-up-the- walls-to-the-ceiling places; dim, musty, dense, mysterious. You get the feeling that you could find anything at all there if you only looked long enough.

Arnold Joseph
1140 Broadway btwn 26th & 27th, 212-532-0019

Complete Traveller Bookstore
199 Madison Ave at 35th, 212-685-9007, FAX 212-982-7628
Important collection of maps, guides and books. Very knowledgeable staff composed largely of travel-addicts, as opposed to the younger Rand-McNally staff. A lot of travel commentary books as well as strict guide books. They also have a large room of old (and expensive) travel and history books.

Discount Bookshop
897 1st Ave btwn 50th & 51st, 212-751-3839

49 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036, USA. 212-685-1410
Used-book store selling (& buying) literary titles to comics & magazines, plus DVDs, CDs & games.

JHU Comic Books
32 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016, USA. 212-268-7088
Store with a comprehensive selection of comics & back issues, plus many collectibles & gaming items.

Tianti Books (Manhattan)
535 8th Ave, New York, NY 10018, USA. 201-897-8788
Bookstore specializing in Chinese spiritual literature, DVDs & CDs, plus meditation accessories.

Chartwell Booksellers
55 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10055, USA. 212-308-0643
Stalwart bookshop focusing on the writings of Sir Winston Churchill, plus other rare & new titles.

Bauman Rare Books
535 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10022, USA. 212-751-0011
Elegant shop with a constantly changing inventory of 15th- through 20th-century books & documents.

192 Books
192 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA. 212-255-4022
Store offering titles from art & literature to history & kids' books, plus events & signings.

Midtown Comics Grand Central
459 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10017, USA. 212-302-8192
Second-floor comic-book shop with a wide selection of graphic novels, manga, collectibles & apparel.

Drama Book Shop
723 7th Ave at 48th, second floor, 212-944-0595
Theater, film, and performing arts. One of the most complete collection of plays I've seen, including British imports. Includes both playscripts a la French's and books of plays, as well as everything about drama et al. The one "gap" seemed to be in Yiddish plays (in translation).

Fil Caravan Inc.
240 E56th Suite 2E, 212-421-5972
Books on Middle Eastern culture, philosophy, etc.

General Medical Book Company
333 E29th, 212-532-0756

Goldberg's Marine
12 W37th, 212-594-6065
Boating and marine.

Gozlan's Sefer Israel Inc.
28 West 27th Street, Suite 402, 212-725-5890, FAX 212-689-6534.
Jewish books and Judaica. "Importers of Israeli Books and Judaica. I have had good experience with this importer, and have ordered the *excellent* Rav Milon Hebrew-English dictionary from them at a good price, with prompt service. They have a list of about 29 texts, tapes, videos on Hebrew language instruction graded at six different levels of instruction. This seems like a good place to look for serious Hebrew educational materials. "

Hotalings News Agency
624 W52nd, 212-840-1868
Carries foreign-language periodicals and some books.

Jim Hanley's Universe
4 W33rd, 212-268-7088
Comics. (Also has a downtown store.)

J. Levine Jewish Books and Judaica
5 W 30th btwn 5th & 6th Aves, 212-695-6888, FAX 212-643-1044
"World's largest Judaica selection," mail orders, etc. Over a hundred years old, making it one of the oldest bookstores in New York.

Kinokuniya Bookstore
10 W 49th btwn 5th & 6th Aves, 212-765-7766
Japanese books, origami paper, etc. Very large and usually very busy. Japanese tour buses stop here because of its proximity to Rockefeller Center. A bit expensive but much better than any other Japanese bookstore in New York.

Librarie De France/Liberia Hispanica
610 5th Ave, Rockefeller Center
A small storefront on the Promenade, near the skating rink, opposite the Teuscher's Chocolate shop. :-) The Promenade is located off of 5th Ave, between 49th and 50th streets, 212-581-8810). At first, the store appears to be very small, but there is a downstairs section with about five or six times the space as the upstairs. I had been in the store several times before I discovered the downstairs section. A very large selection of French novels, short stories, non-fiction, etc. Some newspapers, magazines, and records. They also have a reasonably large selection of dictionaries and instruction books for other languages. Prices tend to be high, though there are occasional sales in their basement. Staff is usually fluent in French.

Michelin Guides & Maps
610 5th Ave near 49th, 212-581-8810
Librarie De France/Liberia Hispanica.

Museum Books
583 Broadway, 212-343-0460
New and out-of-print books on applied and decorative arts.

The Mysterious Book Shop
1099, 58 Warren St, New York, NY 10007 212-587-1011
Mystery books and so on. It also has its own publishing company so they also have the latest copies of their own line of mysteries. Book-signings by authors.

New York Astrology Center
350 Lexington Ave, 212-947-3609
A veridical association bookstore, as it is owned and managed by the A.F.A (American Federation of Astrologers).

New York Public Library Bookshop
5th Ave and 42nd, also at 40th St and 5th Ave, 212-930-0869
Gift books.

OAN-Oceanie Afrique Noire Books
15 W 39th btwn 5th & 6th Aves, 212-840-8844
New and used books on Africa and African issues, art, etc. Also Native American books and French-language books.

Penn Concessions Inc.
Penn Station, 34th and 7th Ave, L.I. Concourse, 212-868-0438 also at 1 Pennsylvania Plaza, 212-239-0311

Pierpont Morgan Library Book Shop
Madison at 37th, 212-685-0008
The Library is actually at 29 E 36th btwn Madison & Park Aves. Museum shop.

Potala Publications
9 E36th, 212-251-0360

Quest Book Shop
240 E 53rd btwn 3rd & 2nd Aves, 212-758-5521
Theosophy, mysticism, healing, tarot, astrology, etc.

Rand McNally
150 East 52nd St., 212-758-7488
Lots of national and international maps, guide books, globes.

1133 Broadway, New York, 212-759-2424
Italian bookstore chain. Probably the premier art, design, and architecture book store in the city. Lots of fun stuff, also foreign books and periodicals. A classy place. New books at list prices. If you like glossy art books at full price try Rizzoli's.
In Tibet House. Has a large selection of books on Buddhism and Tibet. Open Mon-Fri.

Russia House Ltd.
253 5th Ave btwn 28th & 29th, 212-685-1010
Russian books, art, etc. "Russian House is the source for all Russian-language literature. Its inventory is replete with literary classics and modern fiction, as well as the finest translations, biographies and non-fiction titles on contemporary social and political topics. Russian House has a huge selection of books for children and adolescents, including world-renown, illustrated fairy tales, children's literature, and educational material. Catalogues are issued quarterly and are available upon request."

828 Broadway, 212-473-1452
A small, good weather outdoors stall. Strand and Albion have similar displays at the NW corner of 5th Ave and 60th (near Central Park entrance).

The Traveller's Complete Bookstore
199 madison, 212-685-9007
Guides, maps, and travel-related books--picture books, language cassettes, airplane reading, history. Also carries a complete line of travel products such as travel irons and money belts. Free catalog available.

United Nations Bookshop
General Assembly Building, E 45 & First Ave,room 32, 212-963-7680, 800-253-9646
Has international affairs books, and UN publications. "The most underappreciated specialty bookstore in NYC. Perhaps it is vastly ignored because one needs to enter into the UN to greet its bevy of bounty. This means that one must wait, often, en queue for the same security check that is administered to all who arrive to visit the more politically sensitive areas of the building. Even though this line becomes visibly long, it does go rather quickly--especially at mid-morning and earlyish mid-afternoon. This is truly a one-of-a- kind resource in international affairs of all sorts, not only those that are UN-sponsored. High quality works dealing with complex international policies, economic systems, and fine basic references are present alongside hard-to-find reports, surveys and studies performed by the United Nations and any of its statutory affiliates. There are some surprises, too. "

Urban Center Books
457 Madison Ave btwn 50th & 51st, 212-935-3592
Great place for architecture/planning/urban design books.

Village Comics/Comic Art Gallery
214 Sullivan, 212-777-2770
Comics. (Also has a downtown store.)

Thanks to Evelyn C. Leeper for some of this information.