No two bookstores are exactly alike in The Big Apple, and by giving New Yorkers such a grand variety, they all work together to make the city a little richer. Independent bookstores are plentiful and eager for guests to spend time inside. Find the best these NYC bookstores have to offer regardless of what you're looking to find.

Strand Bookstore

With a handful of locations over NYC, Strand is easily one of the most recognizable independent bookstores in the game. Finding priceless texts and other collectibles at unbeatable prices is routine. Those searching for incredibly rare books are in luck when coming here.

Dear Friend Bookstore, Bedstuy

A half-bar, half-bookstore all-around chill and hip indie spot in the heart of Bedford Stuyvesant. Books here range from $5 to several hundred depending on what is up for sale. Non-alcoholic beverages like coffee and tea are also sold. Meditation sessions, open-mic nights, and poetry readings are some of the events that happen here in the shop's spacious backyard during summertime. 

McNally Jackson Books

McNally Jackson opened in 2004 and has since then carved out a name for itself as a refuge for rediscovering underappreciated and neglected books. Their website features staff picks, monthly book clubs and bestsellers, art, genre-specific picks, and even the best books for younger readers to enjoy. McNally Jackson has five locations around the city. 

Books Are Magic

A pink and lively gem owned by best-selling author Emma Straub and her husband. Readings and panels are held almost every night of the week while storytimes for children occur on the weekends. From beloved classics to captivating new releases, Books Are Magic has it all. An incredibly diverse range of genres will satisfy readers from all walks of life. 

The Ripped Bodice, Park Slope

Romance novels reign supreme at this sister-owned shop. The Ripped Bodice is dedicated solely to promoting women and lesbian-centric romance fiction texts in addition to gifts sold by independent woman-owned businesses. Book signings and clubs occur often.

Left Bank Books, Greenwich Village

Literature, culture, and the arts are at the epicenter of this intimate neighborhood staple. There are a plethora of categories to select from including niche ones like Ephemera, Drugs, Nineteenth Century, and Pulp. Vintage monographs, postcards, magazines, and books are also offered at varying prices.

The Free Black Women's Library, Bedstuy

Dedicated to highlighting the wisdom, creativity, and intellectual labor of black women. This idea started as a mobile shop in 2015 and has since expanded to include a permanent location in the community. TFBWL also holds community events, has a co-working space, and provides volunteer opportunities for anyone looking to help out.

Sweet Pickle, Lower East Side

One of the quirkier options out there, Sweet Pickle allows guests to swap their used books for jars of pickles. It's up to patrons to use their best judgment and figure out a fair trade. Online shopping is available as well but in terms of genre, the shop provides pickles in exchange for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photography, and much more.

The Word Is Change, Bedstuy

Specializing in social justice issues and boasting an impressive collection of authors from traditionally marginalized backgrounds. New and old tomes can be purchased here and community events like poetry readings or writing workshops are held regularly. 

Unnameable Books, Prospect Heights

This storefront is particularly well-known for having a juicy poetry and philosophy selection. Every and any other genre that can be thought of will be found here at bargain prices.