Downtown New York bookstores guide McNally Jackson the Strand Mast books Printed Matter Bookmarc

Grandlife guide

6 Must-Visit Bookstores in Downtown New York

back to list

Booklovers unite—we’ve rounded up our top picks of downtown bookstores. 

Print is alive and well in New York City. Whether you’re after a rare coffee table book from yesteryear or a fresh-off-the-press, best-selling novel, the below roundup of downtown bookstores has your every need covered—and that even includes your daily caffeine hit. 

Mast Books

A true East Village treasure trove of finds, Mast specializes in rare volumes, iconic paperbacks, and pre-loved books on a variety of topics including fashion, art, design, history, cinema, and philosophy. Mast opened its doors in 2009 thanks to the efforts of husband and wife team Bryan Leitgeb and James McKee. Since then, Mast has continued to deliver quality reading material to downtown New Yorkers. We recommend keeping an eye on the store’s Instagram for notifications about book launches, signings, and author talks.  

The Strand Book Store

Since 1927, The Strand Book Store has become a hallmark of New York’s East Village. One of the store’s managers, Darren Sutherland likes to muse on the store’s prime locations. “Being located downtown in the Village not only gives us a lot of foot traffic and has helped make a name for ourselves, but it allows us to attract millions of interesting buyers and sellers of truly remarkable books.” Yet among the many shoppers who frequent the store, few rarely venture to its quiet third floor, where The Strand’s rare books collection resides. It’s one not to miss.

McNally Jackson 

A perennial favorite of bookish downtowners, McNally Jackson bears home to one of the most expertly curated collections of books in the city. Whether you need an out-of-print coffee table book or a certain cover version of a David Foster Wallace tome, you’ll find what you’re looking for at McNally thanks to their extremely knowledgeable staff. But even if you don’t, there’s still a fantastic cafe that plays the perfect host for all those in need of a good cup of coffee and a long read.

Bookmarc

This offshoot of the Marc Jacobs empire is one of our favorite literary destinations in New York. Its real specialty lies in the vast array of beautiful art tomes, housed on floor-to-ceiling wooden bookshelves. Whilst the store may appear small from the street, a well-curated and interesting selection of 20th-century finds awaits. The cleverly titled Bookmarc also stocks international fashion and design magazines, making this a one-stop-shop for those in the know. Part local hangout, part shopping destination, you will also find fun Marc Jacobs branded merchandise, the perfect take-home present for friends and family.

Goods for the Study

Curated by the team behind famed neighborhood bookstore McNally Jackson, Goods for the Study is a stationary-slash-bookstore store catering to both classic bookworms and modern readers alike. The store’s inspiration came from McNally Jackson founder Sarah McNally, after developing an impressive collection of knickknacks from her international travels. Today, the store is a mecca for those seeking some writing materials and unique one-of-a-kind pieces for the office. Just a stone’s throw away from the original store, Goods for the Study is the perfect place to pick up a last-minute gift with some flare, with hundreds of customizable pieces from leather journals to iPad covers, quirky greetings cards and more. You’ll definitely want to allow an hour or so to get lost among the shelves—you’ll be amazed at what you find.

Printed Matter 

For more than four decades, Printed Matter has championed artists from New York and beyond. Founded in 1976 by a group of individuals working in the arts, including artist Sol LeWitt and art critic Lucy R. Lippard, the nonprofit bookstore was established in response to the growing interest in publications created by artists. With more and more artists incorporating the book format into their creative practice, the Printed Matter team began to distribute and promote artists’ books and related publications and has continued to do some from their 11th Avenue store, which operates as bookstore, gallery, and artist organization. Beyond that, Printed Matter is a hub for the creative set to gather and appreciate the medium.  

You May Also Like

Downtown Vintage Treasure Troves

Downtown Vintage Treasure Troves

fashion
stories
Victorian blouses, sequined disco tops, perfectly worn 501s—these emporiums will sort out any gaps you might have. 
Get Lost in Chinatown

Get Lost in Chinatown

coffee & cafés
fashion
food & drink
reading
stories
From a family-run tofu shop to a private hair studio—our favorite under-the-radar spots.
Supporting Ukraine Through Its NYC Roots

Supporting Ukraine Through Its NYC Roots

art & design
bars & nightlife
coffee & cafés
food & drink
stories
Our favorite Ukrainian spots in a city that boasts the largest Ukrainian population in the country. 
On Show: New York Art World Icons Warhol & Basquiat

On Show: New York Art World Icons Warhol & Basquiat

art & design
stories
If you only catch a few exhibitions this spring, make sure it’s these ones...
Weekends in SoHo

Weekends in SoHo

art & design
bars & nightlife
fashion
food & drink
stories
Combining heritage with a new age of restaurants, bars, cafes, and boutiques, explore the neighborhood with this curated guide.
The Originals: NYC Institutions Still Worth a Visit

The Originals: NYC Institutions Still Worth a Visit

bars & nightlife
food & drink
stories
From an essential NYC Jewish deli to a chemist to a comedy club with anecdotes and fun facts from those who were—or still are—there.
Best in Class: NYC Concept Stores

Best in Class: NYC Concept Stores

fashion
shopping
stories
In typical New York fashion, a class of concept stores has raised the bar for what you can expect from a clothing boutique.
New York Spring Gardens Downtown Elizabeth Street Garden Gramercy Park Washington Square Park

Diggin' It: Downtown Garden Escapes

food & drink
stories
Lunch date, garden party, solo respite—these 5 outdoor spots have your alfresco needs covered this spring.
Best Rate Promise
Soho Grand Hotel

310 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

(212) 965-3000
The Roxy Hotel New York

2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

212.519.6600