7. Housing Works Bookstore Café126 Crosby St. 


You could spend days in this bookstore browsing the donated titles with breaks for caffeine (they brew Intelligentsia Coffee), baked goods, savories and even alcohol at the on-site café. The entire store is staffed by friendly volunteers, and all profits go to Housing Works, a nonprofit that fights homelessness and AIDS. The bookstore has an upper level with smaller tables to hide from the crowd. The café space is rented out for events. You also get a couple free perks: wi-fi and condoms in a basket by the register (in keeping with Housing Works’ mission, “no glove, no love!”). Housing Works also made our Top 10 Bookstores in Manhattan list.