With International Buy-a-Book Day on September 7, and International Literacy Day on September 8, it was high time we re-visited our recommendations for best bookstores in New York City. What’s exciting about book hunting in a city like New York is that specialized bookstores are still thriving, even though the heyday of Book Row on 4th Avenue may be long gone.

Here are 28 bookstores that will take you from the kitchen to a revolution, and in a few cases, to their brand new spaces, opening this fall. Each one of them is deeply immersed in its community, changing trends, and continuing the city’s long tradition of literacy and learning.

28. Alabaster Bookshop

1-Book-Row-alabaster Untapped Cities

Steve Crowley opened the Alabaster Book Shop in 1996, on what was historically known as the 4th Avenue Book Row. Located just around the corner from The Strand, this secondhand bookstore is filled with affordable books, from first edition paperbacks to rare photography books, with plenty of rolling carts filled with two-dollar hardcover books.
Alabaster Bookshop is Located at 122 4th Avenue, near Union Square

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