Mon-Fri, 9am-8pm; Sat, 10am-7pm; Sun, 11am-6pm
6 at 68th St.-Hunter College
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Shakespeare & Co. is a citywide chain with a hometown heart; it’s a real neighborhood bookstore, catering to the whims and reading appetites of a local clientele. Walls painted in a deep emerald green, dark-stained woodwork, and forest-green carpet evoke an Olde English Book Shoppe feel, but more appealing is the store's easily-navigable scale, a refreshing change from the superstore format of big-box chains. The main floor is a single large room, well organized to promote traffic flow; instead of being aligned on narrow aisles, most books here are arranged on shelves along the walls, clearly marked by placards indicating subjects. Several display tables create islands that invite browsing and conversation, and although there’s no café, a pair of well-worn armchairs provide a place to review books in depth. Unlike many independent bookstores, Shakespeare & Co. doesn’t specialize: It stocks a well-balanced mix of fiction and nonfiction, classics and current authors. Another indicator of Shakespeare’s local roots: Best sellers, displayed behind the counter, are determined neither by national sales figures nor the New York Times, but by the store’s weekly receipts, reflecting a sense of what the neighbors are reading. In an effort to attract area students and faculty, Shakespeare & Co. also carries textbooks, which can be bought, sold, or swapped for the next semester’s list during August and February.