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768 Fifth Ave., at 59th St., in the Plaza Hotel (various locations); 212-593-7236;

Look for books on icons like Christian Dior and Coco Chanel and browse the design and architecture sections for luxurious monographs on greats like Oscar Niemeyer and Valentino. Assouline’s Plaza boutique offers custom leather bookbinding. $$-$$$

Bauman Rare Books

535 Madison Ave., nr. 54th St.; 212-751-0011;

The owners’ love of collecting informs the atmosphere of this renowned store, which carries an unparalleled array of first editions and inscribed volumes from the 15th through 20th centuries. The expert staff knows how to keep serious collectors happy. $$$$

Clic Bookstore & Gallery

255 Centre St., at Broome St.; 212-966-2766;

The gallery portion of the store displays rotating monthly photography exhibits, ranging from New York street style to conceptual posed portraits. The book selection includes colorful coffee-table tomes comprising portraits, landscapes, and voyeuristic paparazzi shots. $$-$$$$

Dashwood Books

33 Bond St., nr. Lafayette St.; 212-387-8520;

Dashwood Books is devoted almost exclusively to contemporary photography, including a particularly impressive international selection from Japan and Europe. Books are organized by country and subject. $$

Design Books

1 University Pl., nr. Waverly Pl.; 212-677-3985;

Find rare and out-of-print titles, plus books on design, architecture, and the decorative arts. Email is the best way to set up an appointment to peruse their extensive collection of works on modern design. $$$-$$$$ (by appointment only)

Gagosian Shop

976 Madison Ave., nr. 76th St.; 212-796-1224;

A Pop Art boutique and bookstore from arguably the most powerful art dealer in the world, Gagosian Shop focuses on art books and monographs. It also sells a small selection of jewelry and art pieces for the home. $$-$$$

Open Air Modern

489 Lorimer St., nr. Powers St., Williamsburg; 718-383-6465;

This trove of rare and used art, photography, and design books is carefully selected by the owner. Mid-century lamps and Scandinavian chairs evoke a living-­room setting for browsing; the furnishings are also for sale. $-$$

Potterton Books

200 Lexington Ave., nr. 33rd St., Ste 431 in the New York Design Center; 212-644-2292; ;

This London-based seller of design and art books boasts a wealth of rare and out-of-print materials. Subjects include architecture, interior design, and landscape gardening. $$$

Printed Matter

231 11th Ave., at 26th St.; 212-925-0325;

This nonprofit, headquartered in Chelsea, is dedicated to promoting the book as an art medium. It maintains a retail operation with works by over 15,000 artists and hosts book launches and events for artists like Yoko Ono, Tom Sachs, and Sonic Youth. $$-$$$ (made in N.Y.)

Strand Book Store

828 Broadway, at 12th St.; 212-473-1452;

Going strong as it nears its 90th year, the Strand today does nearly as much business in new books as in used ones. Either way, its design- and art-book departments are the biggest in town, and even though everything in the store is now bar-coded and (semi-)findable, it’s still a place where you can drift off and get a little lost in the stacks. An honest-to-goodness New York treasure. TASCHEN $-$$


107 Greene St., nr. Prince St.; 212-226-2212;

Aesthetes flock to this coffee-table-book mecca for arty-edgy titles like The Big Book of Breasts. The selection also boasts monographs from contemporary artists like David LaChapelle and pocket-size guides to subjects like vintage cars. $$-$$$


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