Find Rare and Out of Print Books at the Best Used Bookstores in NYC

In this increasingly digital world, it can be difficult to find beautiful and rare used books that encourage your imagination to take flight. Fortunately, New York City hosts many beloved used bookstores. In fact, used bookstores in NYC boast a reputation for being the best.

In this article, we’ll go through the best NYC used bookstores, including some of the best independent bookstores in Manhattan. 

The Corner bookstore

Storefront of used bookstore in NYC, The Corner Bookstore

Address: 1313 Madison Avenue at 93rd Street
Store
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10AM-6PM
Website: www.cornerbookstorenyc.com

The story of The Corner Bookstore reads almost like that of a first-edition novel that has been tucked away for years and then finally discovered. 

Purchased by its current owner in the late 1970s, the building had fallen into a state of disrepair. The gorgeous tinned ceiling and stunning tiles were hiding underneath layers of dirt and grime. 

Once this was all peeled back, the space was restored to its former glory and hailed as one of the nicest buildings on the block. 

For the staff of The Corner Bookstore, serving the neighborhood’s youth has always been a top priority. These days, the store hosts a number of luminaries for special events — as well as a great many children’s book authors.

You will find The Corner Bookstore at the Upper East Side of New York City. 

Strand

Storefront of NYC bookstore, Strand Bookstore

Address: 828 Broadway at 12th Street
Store Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10AM-8PM
Website: www.strandbooks.com

When it comes to the best bookstore that sells used literary fiction books, the first name that rolls off the tongue of New Yorkers’ is the Strand. Indeed, Strand is thought of as more of an institution than a bookstore these days. With outposts in Central Park and LaGuardia Airport, its influence can be seen all around the city. 

This bookstore houses over 2.5 million used books, making them a truly one-stop shop for those seeking out a rare tome or two. 

Fun Fact: Founded in 1927 by Ben Bass, The Strand was once one of many bookstores on its block. These days, it is the only one from that period still in business. Almost a century later, the Bass family still owns and operates the store.

Mercer Street Books & Records

Storefront of NYC bookstore, Mercer Street Books

Address: 206 Mercer St
Store Hours: Every Day, 12NN-8PM 
Website: www.mercerstreetbooks.com

Mercer Street prides itself on hiring writers, so those who’d love to talk will feel right at home when they walk into this cozy shop. 

From the neon sign to the ever-present LPs, this is the perfect place to hunt down a gift that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Plus, the customer service is excellent, so if you’re searching for something rare or out of print that seems impossible to find, you’ll be in excellent hands here.

Westsider Rare and Used Books

Address: 2246 Broadway
Store Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11AM-7PM, Friday & Saturday: 11AM-9PM, Sunday: 6PM
Website: www.westsiderbooks.com

If you’re seeking something eclectic and genuinely out of the ordinary, it’s time to visit Westsider Books. 

With an offbeat and carefully curated collection of everything from poetry collections and rare books to vintage postcards, this place stands out as a mecca for those whose tastes tend to run bohemian. For parents, it’s also the perfect place to stop for some children’s books on the way home from the nearby Children’s Museum.

This used bookstore is located on the Upper West Side in New York City. 

Unnameable Books

Ai Unnameable Books

Address: 615 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn
Store Hours: Weekdays, 12PM-5PM
Website: www.unnameablebooks.blogspot.com

Located in the heart of Brooklyn, Unnameable Books maintains an impeccable reputation for curating a great selection of books. Much of this is probably because of the store’s meticulous process of reviewing each potential book during their ample buying hours, allowing potential sellers to stop by during convenient times. 

Tip: Visit the bookstore’s Instagram page for store updates, as well as their events and hours. 

Bauman Rare Books

Inside thee Bauman Rare Books, a well-known used bookstore in NYC

Address: 535 Madison Ave
Store Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10AM-6PM
Website: www.baumanrarebooks.com

Bauman Rare Books is an excellent place to start when you’re looking for used bookstores in NYC that build up relationships with collectors over decades. 

With a staff that cultivates strong connections — and possesses the literary knowledge need to find those out-of-print books — Bauman has remained very popular for a reason. Although the first location of Bauman was founded almost half a century ago by David and Natalie Bauman, this New York location has been around for about 35 years. 

There are few places in the world where you can buy a book from the 15th century, but Bauman makes this possible. Because staff turnover is so low, customers feel comfortable working with this team to track down their most desired books.

Aside from the collection of books, you will also love the architecture of Bauman Rare Books’ building. 

Book Culture

Used bookstore company Book Culture's logo

Address: 536 West 112 Street
Store Hours: Monday-Friday: 9AM-9PM, Saturday & Sunday: 10AM-8PM
Website: www.bookculture.com

Chris Doeblin founded Book Culture (formerly known as Labyrinth Books) over a decade ago. All these years later, Doeblin hopes to preserve that diversity and continue to thrive as an independently owned-used bookshop. 

Chris Doeblin founded Book Culture (formerly known as Labyrinth Books) over a decade ago. All these years later, Doeblin hopes to preserve that diversity and continue to thrive as an independently owned-used bookshop.

Book Culture’s mission is to carry New York City’s literary traditions into the modern age.

So, if you come into the store and find an amazing used book that you’ve been dreaming of, then this bookstore believes that they have done their job.

East Village Books

Address: 99 Saint Marks Place between First Ave. & Ave.
Store Hours: Monday-Saturday: 1PM-9:45PM, Sunday: 1PM-9PM
Website: www.newyorkcitybookbuyer.com

As one of a few used bookstores in NYC frequently referred to as an “institution” by its fans, East Village Books boasts a passionate team that truly cares about bringing the written word to the masses.

The tightly packed shelves feature books that East Village Books have carefully selected and priced. Many customers report that they are pleasantly surprised by just how many books they’re able to afford on a trip to East Village Books. 

However, it is imperative to note that this store is cash only. They do not accept debit cards, credit cards, or other payment methods besides cash. Don’t worry, though. Since it’s NYC, an ATM is always nearby.

Argosy Book Store

Inside the Argosy Bookstore

Address: 116 East 59th Street
Store Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11AM – 6PM
Website: www.argosybooks.com

For almost a century now, Argosy has been providing fantastic service for readers in the New York area. These days, the store is firmly focused on finding all those rare and out-of-print items in high demand. Their specialty is Americana, and a large warehouse in Brooklyn allows the Argosy bookstore’s team to stash away an astonishing number of books, so they’re ready when the right customer comes along to claim them.

Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks

Ai Bonnie

Address: 28 East Second Street
Store Hours: Schedule Varies. Call Ahead of Time, Mostly Daily 1PM – 6PM
Website: www.bonniesslotnickcookbooks.com

A Greenwich Village staple, Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks is the perfect place to shop for the aspiring cooks in your life. It’s also filled with excellent gifting options that aren’t books. 

For those who prefer to shop solo, making a half-hour appointment is recommended — and you will have the store to yourself. Serving customers for over a quarter of a century, this gem of a bookshop even offers free gift wrapping.

Codex Books

Logo of used bookstore in NYC, Codex

Address: 1 Bleecker Street (near Bowery)
Store Hours: Every Day, 12NN-7PM
Website: www.codexbooks.info

Customers come to Codex for an incredible assortment of reading materials. As far as used bookstores in NYC go, it’s one of the newer kids on the block. Whether you’re searching for a zine or on a budget and want to scope out the dollar Zack, Codex has it covered. With a coffee shop right next door, you’ll be in for a pleasant afternoon every time you visit.

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

Photo showing the logo of used bookstore in NYC, Housing Works.

Address: 126 Crosby Street
Store Hours: Monday-Saturday, 12PM-7PM
Website: www.housingworks.org

When you want to feel good about your shopping trip, it’s time to hit up the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. Because every single used book in the store is donated, all the profits go to a philanthropic organization that provides housing and other services for New Yorkers in need. 

With a cafe and a busy calendar of events, this bookstore will strike the fancy of anyone looking for a more community-based experience while they peruse the aisles.

Mast Books

Photo showing Mast Books' logo, a used bookstore in NYC.

Address: 72 Avenue A
Store Hours: Every Day, 12NN-8PM
Website: www.mastbooks.com

In business for over a decade now, Mast Books doubles as a gallery space for artwork. Indeed, searching through the selection of rare books and new titles from independent presses can be an intoxicating experience. For book aficionados who want to build their private library, this team is adept at consulting and bringing your vision to fruition.

Turn the Page Again

Ai Turn The Page Again

Address: 39-15 Bell Blvd, Bayside, NY 11361
Store Hours: Monday–Friday: 9AM – 7PM, Saturday: 10AM–4PM, Sunday: 10AM– 3PM
Website: www.turnthepageagain.com

Located in Queens, this lovely store is also a nonprofit. 

Book lovers swoon at the wide variety of items offered, while parents revel in the sheer amount of excellent used books available for children. With the inventory changing daily, you should regularly visit this used bookstore in NYC.  

Tip: If you want to score a deal, ask the friendly staff about the weekend and monthly specials.

Exploring Used Bookshops in a Legendary Literary City

There is nowhere in the world quite like New York City. And, with all of these fantastic used bookstores in NYC, you will find the books that set your soul afire — in a New York minute. While it would be a good idea to drop by at one or two of these incredible bookshops, it is even better to carve out the time and visit them all.

Publishing your first book? From mysteries, graphic novels, and comic books to photography books and other genres, these top New York publishing houses can jumpstart your writing career.


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