Bookish adventures in Manhattan

New York – my favourite city in the world. Something about this city keeps calling me back. This was my fourth visit to New York and I still can’t get enough. There’s just no other place quite like it. The skyscrapers, the giant oasis that is Central Park, the city that never sleeps. I had a huge list of bookstores to visit in Manhattan and I managed to get to them all!

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s – ‘Oh, I love New York’


The Strand

828 Broadway at 12th Street
NY, NY 10003

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The Strand store

The Strand rendered me speechless! The moment I stepped through the doors, I was overwhelmed. There was so much to see – and not just books. Everywhere you look there are bookish goodies. From tables covered in tote bags, to a wall full of socks and another wall dedicated to enamel pins. I was in bookish heaven. I could have spent hours here and I did go back twice! The staff were amazing and I felt right at home. I picked up a few things, including gifts for friends and a pin for myself (of course!)

 

Barnes and Noble

33 East 17th Street
New York, NY 10003

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Barnes and Noble store front

I had been counting down the days before I finally got to step through the doors of this magical place known as Barnes and Noble. On my first night in New York, I could wait no longer and rushed to visit it. Unfortunately, we had arrived on Easter Sunday and Barnes and Noble had closed early. Peering through the windows with a broken heart, I made a solemn promise that I’d be back tomorrow.

The wait was worth it! Oh. My. Goodness!! The scale is unbelievable. Floor upon floor of books. The YA section was HUGE. I couldn’t stop myself from buying two books – Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford and Frat Girl by Kiley Roache (autographed copy!) I loved it so much that I returned the next day and just sat in the YA area, breathing it all in.


The MET

1000 Fifth Avenue
at 82nd Street
New York, NY 10028

If you’ve been reading my previous blogs, you’ll have caught on to the fact that I love giftshops! They’re the best part of a museum/gallery etc. OK, the exhibitions themselves are worth seeing as well. I actually did visit the MET before descending on its giftshop, and it was incredible. There was so much to see! I particularly liked the armour room! The Met is by far the best museum I’ve ever been to.

The giftshop is pretty incredible too. So. Many. Books! Art, textiles, fashion, a whole table of books on drinks mixology, a kids section and a café. The books were arranged like the museum itself, with books on armour, native America etc. There were also all the usual fun things found in a giftshop like bookmarks, pins and socks. Despite the temptation, I left empty-handed! 


Rizzoli

1133 Broadway
between 25th and 26th Street
New York, NY 10010

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Rizzoli store front

This store is pure elegance: High painted ceilings, pillars and chandeliers. They specialise in illustrated books on architecture, art, fashion etc. It’s incredible. Words really can’t do it justice. I was awed by it and it should be on any book-lovers ‘must see’ list in New York.

Books of Wonder

18 W 18th St,
New York, NY 10011

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Books of Wonder store front

Books of Wonder is dedicated to children’s books. Its décor is really sweet, with fluffy clouds hanging from the ceiling and cut-outs of characters from picture books.

So many books were autographed copies and clearly marked with a little sign saying ‘signed by…’ There was a large YA section and I was sorely tempted by the signed copy of Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith but unfortunately it was hardcover and once again, my luggage limit whispered NO in my ear.

Alabaster

122 4th Ave
New York, NY 10003

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Alabaster store front

Such a different vibe. Books piled everywhere – on shelves and on the floor. Outside are discount books for $2 each. It definitely has the second-hand bookshop vibe and is worth a visit.

 

BookBook

266 Bleecker St,
New York, NY 10014

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Bookbook store front

I had been really excited to visit this bookstore, mainly because of the name. I was upset when I turned the corner and saw the ‘closing down’ sign on the front of the store. I was so glad that I made it before this gorgeous store closed its doors for good. I grabbed a copy of Dear Ijeawele, a feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as they were having a 20% off sale. If you can get there before they close, I highly recommend it as it’s a gorgeous little store and the staff are lovely.

 

 

Assouline

25 E 77th St
New York, NY 10075
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Assouline shop front

 

This bookstore is tiny but cool if you’re passing by. It has giant books and you are required to wear white gloves to flip through the pages.

 

 

 

 

Albertine

972 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10075 

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European Union and French Flags outside Albertine

This bookstore is tucked inside the historic Payne Whitney mansion (you do need to pass through security to get in) and is the only bookstore in Manhattan devoted to books in French and English.

It’s full of lots of comfy couches and seats, and has two levels of gorgeous books. It’s the perfect place to curl up by the window and read a new book. If only I’d paid more attention in French class and could actually read the books! C’est la vie.

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Albertine ceiling

 

The ceiling was my favourite part of this store – a gorgeous mural of the solar system.

 

 

 

 

Central Park

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Hans Christian Anderson statue

The perfect spot to crack open a book and get some reading done. Central Park seems endless, and there are so many rocks and benches to settle down on. I almost fell asleep sitting in the sun across from Belvedere Castle, it was such a lovely day. The best part of Central Park is the squirrels. They are everywhere and so damn cute! Another bonus is all dogs being walked. I could spend all day in this incredible location!

You also need to check out the Hans Christian Anderson and Alice in Wonderland statues within the Park, although Alice is usually covered in children so practically impossible to get a clear photo.

Have you been to any of these places? Did I miss any of your favourites? Let me know in the comments!

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