2. The Strand was established by a 25-year-old with $600

The Strand’s current thriving status was all founded on the hopes and dreams of a 25-year-old man with $600. Both an entrepreneur and bibliophile, the young Benjamin Bass aspired to create a space where books could be loved and fellow bibliophiles could gather to share their love for books. Ben, a Lithuanian immigrant, steadfastly believed in the power of educating oneself through literature, and naturally gravitated to Book Row. Soon enough, he was determined to join it.

After saving up $300 and receiving another $300 loan from a friend, Ben’s visions became a reality. The Strand opened in 1927 and quickly became a go-to bookstore for Greenwich Village bibliophiles, with its popularity rising as Ben expanded the bookstore’s collections. Ben passed away in 1978, but his legacy endures.