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Posted: Jan 01, 2020
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By: Shayna Gunn

If You're Feeling Like...Books and Coffee

Where are all our bibliophiles at? Seriously, is there anything better than cracking open a new novel while the sweet scent of steaming coffee wafts under your nose? Especially in the fall, when the kiddos head back to school and it feels like the whole world is starting fresh? Well, you’re in luck because we’ve compiled a list of the best places in the boroughs for book lovers like you.


01

Barnes & Noble

150 E 86th Street, Manhattan

01

Okay, okay, it may be a little obvious. But Barnes & Noble is a monopoly for a reason, folks. Stop by any of their locations and head towards the café where you can pick up a pastry and a warm beverage before diving into the latest in your favorite genre. Check the calendar for the Upper East Side location to find a whole host of events, readings, and promos as well. While B&N has events in most of their stores, we’ve found that 86th & Lexington usually takes the cake!

02

The New York Public Library

Various Locations Citywide

The New York Public Library

When did libraries become SO underrated? They have everything from books, to records, to DVDs. They even smell good and there should totally be a candle for that. Anyway, we digress. Bring proof of address and get yourself a free library card at your chosen location. Sure, they don’t have a café on site but the city is so chock full of options, you can easily grab a cuppa and park it at your local branch on an autumn afternoon. And if you don’t finish, you can bring home you reading for free!The New York Public Library also hosts a ton of events year-round, so be sure to check out their website.

03

McNally Jackson

52 Prince Street, Manhattan

McNally Jackson

52 Prince Street, Manhattan

Any reader’s dream, McNally Jackson is an independent bookstore whose staff is made up of book-lovers through and through. They’re the real deal in the book-selling world and you just need to step through the doors to see why. Need a recommendation? They’re on it. Want to find out when promising new authors are speaking? Just ask, ‘cuz they’re usually on the books.


04

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe & Bar

126 Crosby Street, Manhattan

04

This thrift store chain is not just for finding secondhand designer duds. Oh, no. The Bookstore Café & Bar is a reader’s dream. The books are all received by donation and the whole place is run by volunteers, so you know you’re around people who really love all things books. Bonus: they not only have coffee/tea, but a great selection of food, wine, beer, and liquor too. And the space itself is so cool that they even rent it out for events. This is certainly an NYC gem like no other, so check it out the next time you’re in the area.

05

Library Bar at the Hudson Hotel

358 W 58th Street, Manhattan

Library Bar at the Hudson Hotel

It may not be the quietest place on this list, but if you want to get a little fancy, check out the Hudson Hotel Library Bar. Complete with a cozy fireplace and a great collection of books for the borrowing, this is the perfect destination to read away a late afternoon with a glass of wine or a sophisticated cocktail by your side. If you get sick of reading, they have an antique pool table. It reminds us of a place that Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald may have frequented, and that alone is reason enough to visit!

06

The Strand

828 Broadway, Manhattan

The Strand

828 Broadway, Manhattan

Seriously, what NYC book-lovers list doesn’t mention The Strand? It’s iconic. And for very good reasons. They boast 18 miles of new, used and rare books and have been a city staple since 1927. Their events calendar is no joke either, and the store has been visited by some of the most brilliant literary minds in the world. Their events are so popular that they often sell out, but even so, feel free to stop by and curl up with one of their many, many, many titles. Trust us, they welcome it.

07

The Center for Fiction

15 Lafayette Avenue, Manhattan

07

Beloved by readers and writers alike, this place is a must-see. Even better, they offer classes and workshops for all of you would-be novelists out there. If you’re really serious, become a member for access to everything this place has to offer, including their expansive library. Otherwise, check their website for access to events, classes, essays and podcasts that just might inspire you to pick up a pen and start writing yourself!

08

Cafe con Libros

724 Prospect Place, Brooklyn

Cafe con Libros

A self-proclaimed‘Feminist Book Shop’ this place is the best place to find work from veteran and emerging female authors. They’ve got a solid coffee/tea menu, a whole host of community events and even started their own book club! Check out their website to stay up to date on the happenings, or pop on in the next time you’re in the area. You’re sure to love it.

09

Bluestockings

172 Allen Street, Manhattan

Bluestockings

172 Allen Street, Manhattan

Bluestockings is an entirely volunteer-run bookshop and café, so you know that you’re getting the best bibliophiles of the bunch here. Their café is fair trade and they carry over 6,000 titles on a variety of interesting topics. Feeling good about what you read (and what you drink!) on a lazy afternoon? Count us in.

10

Books Are Magic

225 Smith Street, Brooklyn

10

Owned by author Emma Straub (yes, that Emma Straub) and her husband, who believe that every neighborhood needs an independent bookstore, Books Are Magic is a dream for book-lovers of Cobble Hill. Emma knows her stuff, clearly, so expect to find an interesting display of the best at this shop. The store is only a few years old, so grab a cup of tea and stop in… before the masses get wind of it.


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