Review

A Review of Northshire Bookstore (Saratoga)

A Review of Northshire Bookstore (Saratoga)

424 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY

Northshire Books began as a big, gorgeous bookstore out in Manchester, Vermont, but about five years back they opened a satellite branch in Saratoga Springs, NY, a beautiful little city known for horseracing, summer concerts at SPAC, and a bustling downtown filled with cafes, restaurants, and shops of all sorts. Northshire Bookstore may appear to be a smaller shop from the sidewalk, but it’s a lot bigger than expected and has all the diversity, discounts, and fun extras of the parent store. And it’s an excellent addition to an already fun downtown experience.

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A Review of Tattered Pages Books

A Review of Tattered Pages Books

365 Feura Bush Road, Glenmont, NY

I don’t get down to the Glenmont area south of Albany very often, but this little shop might make me change that. Located near a bustling intersection surrounded by strip centers and restaurants, Tattered Pages is a calm, relaxed throwback of a bookshop that is stacked with paperbacks, hardcovers, and good vibes. The hours are a little short, but if you get there when they’re open, you’re likely to find a mystery or romance novel just right for you.

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A Review of Lyrical Ballad Bookstore

A Review of Lyrical Ballad Bookstore

7 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs, NY

If you have never explored the shops and cafes of downtown Saratoga Springs, then the Lyrical Ballad Bookstore is going to be an exciting treat for you. And if you’ve been there before, you already know how enchanting and sprawling this shop can be. And when you walk down that side street and through the front door, you may find the first few rooms are piled with books on every surface, shelves of all sizes, and even on the floor, but those rooms are only the beginning.

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A Review of Yellow House Books

A Review of Yellow House Books

252 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA

I stopped into Yellow House books on a busy Saturday afternoon before catching a movie in downtown Great Barrington, and though it was only a few rooms large, Yellow House was filled up with book lovers and casual shoppers giving it a lively feel. The shop shares a porch with a small clothing store, but there’s no missing the distinctive yellow paint of this literary domicile. So when you spot it, just climb those steps and go right on in!

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A Review of The Bookloft

A Review of The Bookloft

332 Stockbridge Rd., Great Barrington, MA

Upon discovering The Bookloft bookshop in the middle of a small town supermarket plaza, I was uncertain about what I’d find inside. A deep discount goldmine? A cheapie cast-off shop? But as we know to never judge a book by its cover, I have learned to never judge a bookshop by where you find it, and The Bookloft turned out to be a very pleasant surprise.

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A Review of Librarium (Used & Rare Books)

A Review of Librarium (Used & Rare Books)

126 Black Ridge Rd., East Chatham, NY

Set back from Route 295 on a little dirt road surrounded by small farms and country cottages, you’ll find a shop full of used books piled along narrow aisles and tall shelves through multiple, winding rooms. You may not know it exists if you’re just passing through the area, or if you miss the small sign, but if you’ve heard of the shop through word of mouth or have a sharp eye, a visit to this brimming bookseller could be quite the treat.

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A Review of Beacon Reads

A Review of Beacon Reads

309 Main Street Beacon, NY

Beacon Reads is a small two-room shop next door to the Howland Public Library on Beacon’s Main Street, and they sell a lot of overflow titles, mass market paperbacks, and some older classics. Though it feels like a balance between a tag sale book table and a tiny bookshop, they do sell their own shirts and bags, and all the proceeds go to support the library itself, so you can feel good about dropping a few dollars on that David Baldacci book or the Michael Connelly novel you’ve been meaning to read. And to its credit, it has some other unique finds that make it worth exploring if you’re walking by.

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A Review of Binnacle Books

A Review of Binnacle Books

321 Main Street, Beacon, NY

When I lived in Beacon circa 2009, there really wasn’t any bookshop outside of the small library annex that sold overflow titles and well-worn mass paperbacks. This bookshop, however, puts Beacon back in the literary race. It’s a small shop, just a few cozy, compact rooms, but it packs a punch, has plenty to browse through, and gives Beacon’s Main Street some much needed literary representation.

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A Review of Logos Book Store

A Review of Logos Book Store

1575 York Ave., New York, NY

I came upon Logos as I was wandering around waiting to check into my Airbnb up in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan. It was just before lunch on a Saturday and York Ave was quiet, matching the calm inside the store. I had the shelves all to myself, aside from the clerk up front, who was polite and let me browse at my own pace. There was a nice array of oil paintings hung up above the bookshelves, and the store had that old book smell with softly creaking wooden floors—I felt very much in my element.

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A Review of Shakespeare & Co. Books

A Review of Shakespeare & Co. Books

939 Lexington Ave., New York, NY

A weekday morning for a neighborhood bookshop could very well be a quiet affair, but Shakespeare & Co. on the upper east side of Manhattan was humming with guests on a Friday morning in March, though at that early hour, just after ten, most of the patrons were there for the coffee and pastries from their café tucked into the front of the shop. A few people took up chairs in the back to read over their steaming mugs. But I was there for the books, and there were plenty to browse through.

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A Review of the Chatham Bookstore

A Review of the Chatham Bookstore

27 Main Street, Chatham, NY

Columbia County in upstate New York is a gorgeous area of the country, with rolling hills, small farms, and quaint towns like Chatham, which has a pretty, revitalized main street that is home to a combination of chic artisan shops and longtime local favorites that have held on through the years, including a one-screen movie theater and a bookshop. The Chatham Bookstore is a gem that has survived through four decades as a literary outpost with a great selection of books and events.  

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A Review of McNally Jackson

A Review of McNally Jackson

52 Prince Street, New York, NY

In the heart of Soho’s cobbled streets and chic high-end clothiers, there’s an equally glossy and glass-encased bookshop that has a surprising number of works by indie authors and poets waiting within. First impressions, though, make the shop seem very au courant, with swaths of art books and large sections dedicated to photography, design, architecture, art, fashion, and other stylish topics. But until you start digging into the fiction, literature, and poetry, you don’t see the whole story.

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A Review of Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

A Review of Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

126 Crosby St., New York, NY

Wherever you combine a used book store and a café with food and coffee, I will find you. I will find you, and I will spend time with you. I came across this shop by accident while looking for Jackson McNally in SoHo, and damn, what a cool spot! Beyond just having a huge array of used books (all donated) and a relaxed, comfortable environment, this place is extra special because proceeds from the shop support a ton of local initiatives, like those working to end AIDS and homelessness. (You can find out more at their website.) So all of us buying cool books helps fund essential causes for those in need. It's a win-win-win.

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A Review of Rizzoli Bookstore

A Review of Rizzoli Bookstore

1133 Broadway, New York, NY

Even after relocating from their 57th Street home to this new store in the NoMad neighborhood, just a short walk from Madison Square Park, Rizzoli’s claim to be the “most beautiful bookstore in New York” may not be far off the mark. With large floor tiles, towering columns, and expansive shelf space, Rizzoli Bookstore certainly caters to the more chic and stylish readers on Manhattan Island. Still, I found there’s plenty there for the more humble reader, like yours truly.

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A Review of I Love Books

A Review of I Love Books

380 Delaware Ave., Delmar, NY

My first impression of I Love Books was one of hesitation, as it looked so much more like a chaotic trinket shop in some tourist town than an actual bookshop. But after looking around I discovered I was not only wrong, but I found I was really enjoying myself jumping from books to literary toys and gifts and right back into books again. Not only is there plenty here for the writers and readers in your life, but there’s something for almost anyone in I Love Books.

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A Review of The Mysterious Bookshop

A Review of The Mysterious Bookshop

58 Warren Street, New York, NY

If you love mysteries, hardboiled detectives, noir, Sherlock Holmes, pulp novels, or police procedurals, this is your ideal shop. It’s just one room, but it’s a big room, with books shelved floor to ceiling and piled on tables and turning racks in between. With leather sofas for reading and helpful staff willing to climb ladders to get those out-of-reach gems, this specialized shop is a great place to browse and a lot of fun to visit.

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A Review of Alabaster Bookshop

A Review of Alabaster Bookshop

112 4th Avenue, New York, NY

Just around the corner from the famous Strand bookshop is another store of near equal quality—although not equal quantity, not by a long shot. Even a lot of Manhattanites I’ve spoken to have never visited this “little shop that could,” and I always tell them that the Alabaster Bookstore should be on everyone’s hit list.

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A Review of Strand Bookstore

A Review of Strand Bookstore

828 Broadway, New York, NY

The idea of writing a review of Strand feels almost silly, as its reputation precedes itself quite well. And telling New York City bookworms about Strand is like telling Michael Jordan about basketball, but it’s an absolute pleasure to bring out-of-town book lovers into Strand and watch their eyes pop as they stare agog at the multi-floor beauty waiting for them within, or at the racks and racks of dollar books lining the sidewalk outside. This is my favorite place to browse for books. You can kill half a day here if you wanted to and never get bored, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t leave the shop without a purchase.

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A Review of The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza

A Review of The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza

1475 Western Ave., Albany, NY

The Book House will always have a special place in my heart because I bought my first book of poetry there, back in the spring of 2005, and it changed my life, giving me a creative outlet I never had before. For a long time I wasn’t able to return because I had moved away, but when I came back to the Albany area in 2015, I headed here and still stop by a few times a year. To say it’s located in the center of a strip mall is a bit deceiving unless you know Stuyvesant Plaza, which is home to a series of specialized and upscale clothing and gift shops, cafes and fine dining, plus a Chipotle, a TGI Fridays, that kind of stuff, basically the kind of strip mall an upper-middle class suburbanite would frequent. The only reason why I go there is The Book House, and this shop is worth the trip, especially if you're a local.

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A Review of Argosy Book Store

A Review of Argosy Book Store

116 E 59th Street, New York, NY

If your ideal bookstore is a quiet shop with green carpeting and dark wood, rife with that old book smell, then Argosy book store is perfect for you. Just blocks from the southeast corner of Central Park, it claims to be New York’s oldest independent bookstore, standing strong since 1925, and it certainly feels like it. With all the ancient prints and maps available throughout all six floors of the shop (I only explored the first), the winding staircases, the green desk lamps, and the floor-to-ceiling rows of gorgeously-bound antique volumes of poetry, fiction, and historical texts, you know you’re in a serious shop from the first moment you enter.

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