Mon-Sat, 10am-10pm; Sun, 11am-10pm
4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R, W at 14th St.-Union Sq.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Only one used bookstore remains on what was once Book Row; owner Steve Crowley has held on despite the miles-of-books behemoth around the corner. Trade paperbacks are generally half the cover price; the admirable selection of contemporary and postmodern names like Borges, Calvino, and Toni Morrison reflect an individual taste in a way the Strand’s stacks of Penguin Classics simply can’t. Rare photography books by Lou Reed and Salvador Dalí are locked in ornate wood cabinets; plastic-wrapped, first-edition paperbacks with fantastically futuristic covers are displayed as art on the walls. A disproportionate amount of shelf space may be devoted to mystery, Star Trek, and Lord of the Rings, but the store’s easily navigable stock remains cultivated—nerdy, yes, but inviting, too. For $2 titles by the likes of James Fenimore Cooper and Candace Bushnell, check out the rolling carts on the sidewalk.