3. McNally Jackson Bookstore (Prince & Spring Streets)

When it comes to organizing literary events that have serious star power but still remain accessible to the public (usually for free), there is no better bookstore in Manhattan than McNally Jackson. The official book-signing location for the annual  New Yorker Festival, McJ also hosts talks with upcoming and renowned authors from all genres. In the past year, the likes of Sloane Crosley, Ian Frazier, Lev Grossman, Maud Newton, Ben Marcus, and Molly Ringwald have all given talks or readings in the basement floor of this SoHo establishment. The store also hosts a monthly series called “Nerd Jeopardy,” various workshops in several genres, and many literary journal launch parties. Needless to say, McJ is worth a trip for the fun stuff happening there, even if you don’t necessarily buy a book.