So, if you like to read, you have to visit The Strand when you are in NYC.
Located in the East Village, just a couple of blocks from Union Square, it’s one of the biggest book shops in the city – possibly even the largest independent book seller in the area. Their tagline is ’18 miles of books’ and once you’ve spent some time in the store, it feels true.
Lovely old books
Emma can lose herself here for ages
The Strand was founded by Benjamin Brass in 1927 in a different location and his son, Fred, moved the shop in 1956 to their current location. The store is now owned by Benjamin’s granddaughter, Nancy, and has more than 200 employees. It’s a very friendly place 🙂
Stop and Browse
The store stretches over three and a half floors and is absolutely packed to the brim with books new, old and very old. That means you can buy new books at full price, second hand books at a discount and very old, rare books at an appropriate sum.
They also sell new releases on offer occasionally, a seemingly rare practice in the US (at least, so I’ve found so far – I really miss bookshops, especially second hand ones, in the UK). Pleasingly, they have a great children’s department.
Great kids department
The store is also a great place to pick up small gifts, touristy or general. There’s a huge choice ranging from badges and stickers to bags, socks, bookmarks, stationary and so much more. So far I haven’t been thrown out for taking too long to wander around or loitering – a good sign 😉
Huge selection of gifts for sale on the ground floor
Sadly, no cafe but there are bathrooms (if you can figure out the coded floor guide to find them) and you can stop to refuel at a nearby Starbucks of the excellent Max Brenner chocolate cafe / restaurant. I recommend the waffle fries wholeheartedly!
Here’s just a bunch of photos I took so you can see the selection on offer. Enjoy your visit!
Extra photos of the shop and the cool things you can find: