- Happy Bones Coffee & Publications NYC
7 Bond St., nr. Lafayette St.; 212-673-3754
At the back of Bond 07 by Selima sits this bookstore and coffee “speakeasy,” where those who know it exists can sip a flat white (or a long black, or a short macchiato) while browsing art books from downtown luminaries like Leo Fitzpatrick and Aurel Schmidt.
18 Bridge St., at John St., Ste. 1G, Dumbo; 347-460-7724
This labor of love from a quartet of sci-fi fans carries early-edition Ray Bradbury hardcovers, Ace Doubles, the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series, a bunch of spy novels, and even some romance. In a bit of an e-book twist, its website—savethescifi.com—digitally publishes one out-of-print science fiction title every month.
- Molasses Books
770 Hart St., nr. Wilson Ave., Bushwick; 631-882-5188
This eclectically stocked used bookstore is a throwback in every sense—the soundtrack comes from a record player, there is a small bar in the back serving beer and wine, and 28-year-old owner Matt Winn buys books for cash or credit. (And yes, you can trade in old titles for a bar tab.)
- The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
27 Orchard St., nr. Canal St.; 646-457-0859
Greg Newton and Donnie Jochum founded this shop and makeshift community center in Strange Loop gallery after realizing there was no longer an LGBTQ-exclusive bookstore in Manhattan. They have sections for history, theory, poetry, and fiction.
- Artbook @ MoMA PS1
22-25 Jackson Ave., at 46th Ave., Long Island City; 718-433-1088
Not to be confused with PS1’s main-squeeze bookshop, this kiosk near the entrance specializes in obscure international titles—a range that includes denim-obsessed Japanese fashion rags, local food zines, and art biannuals like Maurizio Cattelan’s Toilet Paper.
Tome, Sweet Tome
Five new old-fashioned booksellers.
From the 2013 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).