AKA "This is why I live here." I got sick of Google Maps and Apple Maps always showing closed stores, so decided to make my own map. If it's on this map, I've visited it in person to verify. It includes closed stores, too, but at least they're marked in gray. If you think of any I've missed, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Key: Bookstores | Comic Shops | Magazines | Barnes & Noble | College Bookstores
Museum shops | Stores that also carry books | Closed stores :(
Forbidden Planet is my weekly comic store, located next to Strand. I like their new store even better than the old one they moved out of in 2013. Broadway & 12th st.
Book Culture in Long Island City, Queens is a beautiful branch of this chain, with well-chosen highlighted books and a great basement level for children.
Rizzoli was a beautiful store in midtown, featuring several floors and a rotunda. It was heart-breaking when they closed ... but then they reopened! A beautiful new store next to Madison Square Park. 26th and Broadway
McNally Jackson is a great store in SoHo, a few blocks from where I used to work. Prince St. & Mulberry.
Taschen is something a little different: dedicated to high-end art books. If you need a striking coffee table book, come here. Prince St. & Greene.
Barnes & Noble Union Square is my go-to bookstore for most things, because they have most things. It's also a beautiful space in a great old building, 4 floors tall. And you can get a good seat in the cafe, if you just wait outside for a half hour before they open. I'm sorry, independent bookstores, I like you too, but this B&N does a good job. 17th st & Park Ave.
Books of Wonder is the premier children's book store of New York (and probably the world). I supported their Kickstarter campaign to help them stay in business. Can't wait to take my daighter there for the first time. 18th St. & 5th Ave. Below you can see a fun commercial.
Idlewild is a gorgeous second-story store that is creatively organized: by geography. In each section there are novels, nonfiction, art and poetry books from that country as well as travel books. 19th St. between 5th & 6th Aves.
Three Lives is a cozy West Village store that's hard to find unless you're not looking for it. West 10th and Waverly
Greenlight Bookstore is an exemplary bookstore I recently found in Brooklyn. Reminiscent of McNally Jackson. Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Avenue A has three good shops offering reading materials right next to each other. One's a small bookstore, one's a chaotically comprehensive magazine store, and one's a gift shop with odd things and fun books. Ave A & 5th St.
Word is a cozy shop in Greenpoint that has lots of hip author events. Franklin & Milton in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Singularity & Co. is chock full of old, old sci-fi books. They've got a copy of Interstellar Pig out right on the table! They're also on a mission to digitize classic sci-fi. Bridge St. in Dumbo, Brooklyn
La Casa Azul Bookstore is really cute, and coincidentally I bought my daughter a book of colors there with blue on the cover. Good children's selection, and lots of events. 103rd st btw Park & Lex
Bauman Rare Books looks amazing but I have never actually been inside since they are closed whenever I'm there. Maybe someday. Madison Ave by 55th
Strand is a famous store nearby that is actually tremendously difficult to navigate. Mostly good for browsing the tables in the front and getting recommendations. Not my favorite store, but has lots of events. 12th St. & Broadway.
Barnes & Noble has an amazing branch on the Upper West Side. I love any balconies within stores that let you look out at the other floors, even if getting to this one is a little confusing. And if they have the most jam-packed cafe I have ever seen. 82nd & Broadway.
Westsider Rare & Used Books is an old-school gem on the Upper West Side. Walking in feels like walking into a book itself. 81st & Broadway.
This guy was found outside the Barnes & Noble. There are lots of book vendors on the city streets, at different spots on any given day. 17th St. & Park Ave.
I was waaaaay out of my neighborhood when I found this: on the upper west side near Columbia. Nice two-story shop with lots of Very Short Introductions.
Unoppressive, Non-Imperialist Bargain Books
All overstock, so very inexpensive books. Heavy on Eastern religions but also has film books, biographies and literature classics. Carmine Street, the West Village
Kramerbooks & afterwards has been my favorite stop in D.C. for many years now. Dupont Circle, Washington D.C.
Canterbery Tales Forever is a cute store in the quaint Peddler's Village. We used to come here shopping when I was a kid. More recently, here's a photo of my mom and my wife looking for baby books for our daughter. Lahaska, PA.
The Harvard Coop is in Cambridge, MA. I've only been to the area a few times but I love this store. This is where I first found the Oxford Short Introductions series. Cambridge, MA
Dewey's Comic City
My comic store when I attended nearby Drew University, and for the few years after when I lived in the wilderness of northwestern New Jersey. They still have the best sales and the best email newsletters. Madison, NJ
Sarasota News & Books
(AKA Sarasota Books & Music, according to Rachel.) This is nowhere near any of these other bookstores. But I've visited Sarasota three times while Rachel was performing in shows down there, and have hung out in this shop killing time while she's working. They've got a nice selection of books and a quiet cafe. I found a signed Brad Meltzer book there.
The Reading Room may not even still be in existence. All I know is that after having visted Vegas a few times, finding a nice bookstore there was like finding a cherry Slurpee served up at Mos Eisley's bar: surprisingly innocent and refreshing. Las Vegas, NV
Barnes & Noble 6th Avenue was my favorite Barnes & Noble until they closed in March of 2008. For many years, I would walk here early every weekend morning to sit in their cafe, which overlooked the rest of the store on a cozy balcony. Now it's a stupid Trader Joe's. Such a shame that B&N finally noticed they had like 6 stores within a few blocks of each other. 6th Ave & 20 St.
St. Mark's Bookshop is the best bookstore near me, perfectly located. Has a surprisingly comprehensive selection in certain departments. 3rd Ave & Stuyvesant St.
Shakespeare & Co had great recommendation tables. There used to be one of these a few blocks away from me, too, but the one on Broadway was cozier and more unique. Now they're both gone. Broadway & Washington (5th St.)
Cosmic Comics was my main comic store I visited every Wednesday for six or seven years. Sorry to see it go. 23rd St. & Broadway.
All the Borderses are closed. They were not my absolute favorite stores, but any bookstores closing is a sad occasion. I used to walk to the Borders in Bridgewater when I lived in Somerville, dashing across a highway. And the Borders on Wall Street was particularly good; I met a wonderful girl in line there while waiting all day for a Bill Clinton signing.
This was my favorite bookshop back near the ol' homestead. They had a huge selection of Penguin classics and a long table of new recommendations running the length of the store. They closed in 2007. Princeton, NJ