4 3rd Street Troy, NY
Inside the Troy Atrium off Broadway and 3rd, hidden among the many vacant shops and the large empty fountain still gurgling up water, there resides a horde of older books, rooms and rooms of them, all waiting for you to take the afternoon to sort through and pick up a gem. It’s a bargain outlet, nothing fancy, not much you’d call “new,” but the volume of books alone might make this shop worth a visit if you don’t mind a used copy of that old classic.
The initial room gave me pause, as the titles on the tables and shelves were notably older, the types of books you’d expect in a bargain, library, or garage sale, but there were a LOT of them. Romance especially, V.C. Andrews, thrillers, and cozy mysteries, with cases and cases of sci-fi, fantasy, and all sorts of nonfiction too: cookbooks, sports, political memoirs, and the like, all a bit dated but still in decent shape.
There are a number of side rooms, each packed with books. I found a room with lots of true crime, history, strange occult type explorations, more biographies, autobiographies, and so on. Another side room had vintage titles, hardcovers, clothbounds, literary and general fiction in paperback and mass market editions, plus classics, poetry and old magazines. Books were stuck into shelves every which way, piled on chairs, sitting in baskets, loads and loads of them.
If you have the time, this place will keep you busy. I saw a lot of books I already owned, however, and I was in a bit of a rush so I left empty-handed, but I can certainly see myself coming back. If you combine this shop with Market Block Books across the street, you have a nice little afternoon on your hands covering both old and new, so keep this one in mind. It might not look like much at a glance, especially being located in a strange empty atrium, but it’s worth a look if you don't mind the effort of snooping.
Atmosphere — A practically hidden used book dealer that feels more like an avalanche than a shop, with far more books and rooms than you’d expect.
Quality — The books were all used and many were either older, or at least not the most recent printing of certain titles, though there were plenty of hardcovers in acceptable shape.
Quantity — Lots and lots and lots of books, jam packed.
Diversity — There was a much larger range of topics and subgenres than I expected, well balanced between fiction and non.
Affordability — I actually expected the books to be slightly cheaper, considering the shop felt like a last resort for many of these titles, but you’ll certainly find a lot of deals.
Amenities — Books and books alone. Nothing fancy. Dig in.
Location — It’s in downtown Troy in the Atrium between 4th and 3rd off Broadway. I had to walk around a bit inside to find it because almost everything else was closed, but it’s there waiting for you.
Customer Service — I nodded to the clerk, who watched and waited to help, but we didn’t interact.
Overall — You won’t find the newest stars of the literary world, but if you’re looking for a throwback or just a cheap copy of a classic, you may find it here. The sheer volume outweighs the quality a bit, but there are certain gems hidden within, you just need to take the time and look.