The Rise of Used Bookstores in NYC

Used bookstores are popping up all over NYC, and it looks like the trend is here to stay. Along with the ubiquitous sidewalk books we all pass by, and contemplate perusing, there is a noticeable increase in the popularity of stores selling rare and used books. 

Image courtesy of Pinterest

There are 50 in Manhattan alone, and the number seems to be rising. One can easily compile a list of reasons as to why this is happening. It’s no surprise people like cheap books. The cheap book market has virtually been monopolized by Amazon, where books are reliably 2x less expensive than Barnes and Noble, or your local store. By choosing to shop at a used book store, one can maintain the novelty of book shopping without burning a hole in their pocket. With some tact, you might be able to walk out with six books for the price of a sandwich. 

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I’ve been in some of these shops myself, and I totally get their mass appeal. They are all very charming places. Most of them are a little cramped, as books tend to be strewn and stacked haphazardly, to maximize use of real estate. One has to do a little more work than is typically required at say a ‘Barnes and Noble’, to find what they are looking for, but sometimes the extra work is worth it. The thrill of discovering a great read through serendipity is irreplaceable, and a used book store is one of the only places that offers it. 

If you’d like to check out some of these places yourself, here’s a list of 4 gems:


Featured image courtesy of photoshelter