With all the power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy, you might have turned to your bookshelf for entertainment, only to discover that you needed a new book to read. Well, never fear, Brooklynites! Our bet is that you’ll probably find what you’re looking for at one of our eight favorite bookstores in the borough. Inspired by our list of the Top Ten Bookstores in Manhattan, we’ve scoped out the best independent booksellers from Williamsburg to Prospect Heights to Park Slope, and what we found is pretty exciting.

1. powerHouse Arena (37 Main Street)

The glory of powerHouse Arena pre-Hurricane Sandy. Image courtesy of powerHouse Arena.

True to its name, powerHouse Arena in DUMBO is known for keeping a packed schedule of high profile, interesting, and sometimes zany literary events that are open to the public. Perhaps my personal favorite of the best bookstores in Brooklyn, powerHouse is also one of the most massive, boasting 24-foot ceilings and six rows of built-in concrete amphitheater-style seating for their events, which usually feature free drinks from Brooklyn Brewery. Unfortunately, like many of the local shops nearby, the bookstore was hit hard by the hurricane–their 5,000 square foot ground level experienced a foot and a half of water damage during the storm surges, and within only 20 minutes, the bookstore was flooded. Dedicated to staying strong through this crisis, the store is holding a #SandyHatesBooks fundraiser in order to pay for the damages (they don’t have flood insurance). In the meantime, we’re keeping our fingers and toes crossed for a speedy recovery for powerHouse.

Desert Island’s storefront is quirky and, well, comical, in its use of wordplay. Photo by Charlie Gower.

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  1. Sarah D says:

    What about Freebird and Community Bookshop?????? Much better selection and atmosphere than some of these.

  2. Michael says:

    Don’t forget Singularity&Co. in Dumbo, which is a geek paradise of vintage pulp sci-fi and fantasy.

  3. Guest says:


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