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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 36 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.

36. Books Are Magic

Image via Books Are Magic

Author Emma Straub and her husband, Michael Fusco, have filled the Brooklyn bookshop void left by the closing of two independent bookshops in the area, with the May 1st opening of Books Are Magic in Carroll Gardens. Straub, who admittedly spent lots of time at Book Court, was also a former employee of the shop. So it is quite fitting that her new shop is just a few blocks away, incorporating many of the old wooden shelves from Book Courts interior. Books Are Magic is family friendly, with an enormous children’s book section. It is located at 225 Smith Street, corner of Butler Street.

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