The independent bookstore has long been considered a sacred institution in the eyes of many New Yorkers. Without them, where else would Harry have met Sally (again)? Would Shopgirl and NY152 ever have had their happy ending? More important, where else would you receive the special care and individual attention that a local bookseller provides? After all, the owners of Barnes & Noble don’t personally call to let you know when your favorite author’s latest work is available.
Unfortunately, though, the age of technology, mega chain stores, and the e-book have put our local brick-and-mortar shops in peril; New York City’s most beloved independent bookstores have been slowly disappearing throughout the boroughs (RIP BookCourt).
So we’ve put together a list of the city’s must-visit indie bookshops, from secondhand cookbook sellers to brand-new neighborhood gems established by bestselling authors. Patronize them before they’re turned into more Chases and Rite Aids.
We also paired each bookshop with its perfect (and close-by) eating and drinking match, because a good hardcover deserves some food (and drink) for thought. Read on below.