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New York is one of America's great literary cities. Given its pedigree in prose, poetry, and publishing, there are plenty of bookstores in Manhattan that keep the passion for the written word alive. Here are 10 of the best Manhattan bookstores, which carry a wide selection of new and/or used titles.Continue to 2 of 11 below.
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McNally Jackson Books
McNally Jackson is a wonderful place to find new titles and browse shelves for classics. They have an excellent selection of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and there's an in-store café that's great for a quick nosh before checking out other shops and sights in the surrounding Nolita nabe. McNally Jackson hosts some of the best readings, signings, conversations, and literary events in Manhattan. 52 Prince St., btwn Mulberry & Lafayette sts.; mcnallyjackson.comContinue to 3 of 11 below.
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Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is one of the best places to look for used books in Manhattan. Staffed by volunteers, all purchases at the café and bookstore help fund Housing Works, a nonprofit organization that address both homelessness and HIV/AIDS. The SoHo store is also home to many readings and literary events throughout the year, and the space can also be rented for weddings and other private functions. 126 Crosby St., btwn Prince & Jersey sts.; housingworks.org/bookstoreContinue to 4 of 11 below.
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Of course, where would we be without The Strand? Founded in 1927, The Strand is a place made for book lovers, and a must for anyone looking for the best bookstores in New York City. Walking its floors and browsing its many shelves, it's easy to spend an entire afternoon looking for hidden gems here. The Strand is convenient to Union Square, making it easy to get to and from. 828 Broadway at E. 12th St.; strandbooks.comContinue to 5 of 11 below.
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Argosy Book Store
Fans of rare books and first editions will adore Argosy Book Store in Midtown East. Founded in 1925, Argosy is billed as the oldest independent bookstore in New York City. The shop occupies an entire six-story building and is a jewel for bookworms looking for unique and antique works. In addition to books, Argosy also sells vintage prints, antique maps, and autographs. 116 E. 59th St., btwn Park & Lexington aves.; argosybooks.comContinue to 6 of 11 below.
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Books of Wonder
Books of Wonder is the go-to store if you're looking for children's literature in New York City. Founded in the Flatiron District in 1980, Books of Wonder carries everything from picture books to young adult novels. The store also boasts a fine collection of rare children's books and art prints. 18 W. 18th St., btwn 5th & 6th aves.; booksofwonder.comContinue to 7 of 11 below.
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Founded in 1999 and located in the Lower East Side, Bluestockings specializes in political and activist literature. The store is collectively owned and run by volunteers, staying true to its independent ethos. Bluestockings is a great place to go if you're looking for books on feminism, queer and gender studies, race, the environment, and radicalism. 172 Allen St., btwn Stanton & Rivington sts.; bluestockings.comContinue to 8 of 11 below.
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Though not a large store, 192 Books is an elegant, intimate, and well-curated shop based in Chelsea, near the High Line. Readers of literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are sure to find a few books they've been meaning to read while browsing the tables and shelves. (Tip: While in the 'hood, 192 Books is across the street from Printed Matter, a great destination for bibliophiles looking for art books, magazines, and zines.) 192 10th Ave., btwn 21st & 22nd sts.; 192books.comContinue to 9 of 11 below.
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Three Lives & Company
Three Lives & Company is a fine place to browse books if you're wandering around the West Village. The charming exterior is matched by a cozy interior that's stocked with an excellent selection of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. 154 W. 10th St. at Waverly Pl.; threelives.comContinue to 10 of 11 below.
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St. Mark's Bookshop
While the store has moved from its original location, St. Mark's Bookshop, in operation since 1977, is still a top-rated bookstore serving the East Village. The new location has a unique layout that makes use of the store space while stocking a robust inventory of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. 136 E. 3rd St., btwn 1st Ave. & Avenue A; stmarksbookshop.comContinue to 11 of 11 below.
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With three locations, Book Culture is a great place to look for books if you find yourself in Morningside Heights or the Upper West Side. The 112th Street location was formerly known as Labyrinth Books, and continues to be the go-to off-campus bookstore for humanities students attending Columbia University. 536 W. 112th St., btwn Broadway & Amsterdam Ave.; 2915 Broadway at 114th St.; 450 Columbus Ave., btwn 81st & 82nd sts.; bookculture.com