2. Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (Crosby and Prince Streets)

The Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is almost always filled with book-lovers, eager to share their opinions on the latest literature over a can of PBR or Sixpoint Sweet Action.

If you and your word nerd friends are ever out one night, and you can’t decide whether to visit a new bookstore and peruse the shelves for some quality verbiage, or whether you want to just chill at a hip bar with a laid back vibe (and maybe an activist bent), don’t fret! Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is the place for you. The SoHo store sells used books in a massive space (with a sweet second story walkway) that still feels cozy enough, and it also sells beer (yes, beer) at the cafe in the back of the store. Even better, the store hosts literary and musical events more often than not, and you can usually snag a used copy of Kerouac, Toni Morrison, or even something as contemporary (and raunchy!) as E.L. James’s 50 Shades of Gray for a decent price. Plus, part of all the profits from book sales go toward promoting AIDS research and awareness. Really, what more could you want in a bookstore? (Unless you just want more books, in which case, you can always pay a visit to The Strand, famed for its “18 miles of books.”)