Face it. Reading is sexy, and an integral part of the culture in New York.

Which is why we thought it would be helpful to give you the rundown on our favorite book nooks in the city (never fear, Brooklynites, your guide is coming soon!). From a lofty art book store filled with natural light, to a semi-subterranean hideout for mystery lovers, to a secret bookstore with the vibe of an artist’s salon meets speakeasy, we’ll tell you about what we believe to be the best of the best in the most literary city in the U.S.

1. Rizzoli (1133 Broadway)

Rizzoli Books, despite selling a little bit of everything to stay competitive, specializes in art books and coffee table tomes. Certainly, the store’s inclination toward artistic and architectural literature is evident in the store’s design. In spite of a move to Flatiron after their original elegant building on 57th Street was demolished, many of the classic fixtures from 57th Street were preserved and re-introduced in the new space including the cherry wood bookcases and chandeliers. A whimsical Fornasetti designed wallpaper now runs the length of the room, above the bookcases. Scenes of Italian cities floating in clouds, Zodiac figures and hot air balloons. The stunning Fornasetti collage was made exclusively for the Rizzoli flagship by Cole & Son.

If you are a fan of the library in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, this bookstore will not disappoint. It’s worth a visit just to pretend like you live there for an hour or so.

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10 thoughts on “The Top 10 Bookstores in Manhattan

  1. I am coming to New York, Manhattan in the beginning of January next year. I should like to buy some books concerning American history after 1945.
    Which book store could you recommend?
    Jens Ansteen

  2. I want a Greek language paperback—used and cheap—–of “Zorba the Greek”——

    please let me know if you can help me—-

    thank you—

    Sydney Roberta Palmer

  3. Forbidden Planet is no longer on the corner of 13th and Broadway. They’ve moved down the block – they’re still on Broadway, the same side of the street, but between 12th and 13th, closer to Strand.

  4. I´ll be in New York next week. I want to buy the following book in Spanish : John Berger, El sentido de la vista. Do you know where I can find this book in Manhattan?

    Thanks for your help, sincerely,


  5. Thanks for taking the time to share this local insight.

    Am a London-based Australian visiting Manhattan soon – great to have such a helpful guide.

    Brazenhead might be a bridge too far though …

  6. I LOVE this article I think it’s very well written. I especially love the first line — reading is so so sexy.
    I can’t wait to visit these bookstores they all look so inviting!

  7. Also stumbled across the Drama Bookshop last week, which was also awesome. Specializes in scripts and dramatic material, monologues, agent directories, and screenwriting/film books. At 250 W. 41st St.

  8. Thanks for the suggestions! LOVE Books of Wonder. Definitely going to check out Archivia, too.

  9. totally forgot Books of Wonder
    18 West 18th Street
    New York, NY 10011
    (212) 989-3270

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