So you need a book. Maybe it’s for class, maybe you just want some supplemental reading. You don’t want to use Amazon because they’re a tyrannical corporation that is detrimental to the entire literary industry (or you need the book for class next week and can’t wait for it ship). Either way, we’ve got your back. NYC has some of greatest options in the world by way of independent and used bookstores. Here you’ll find a ton, many of which specialize in art and design books. I’ll continue to update this list as is necessary. (but seriously, Amazon is evil)
Art Resources Transfer, Inc. 526 W 26 Street #614, New York, NY 10001 (212) 255-2919 Art Resources Transfer, Inc., founded by Bill Bartman in 1987, is a non-profit organization committed to documenting and supporting artists’ voices and work, and to making these voices accessible to the broadest possible public by establishing innovative methods of distribution and access.
Bergen Street Comics 470 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217 (718) 230-5600 Located in Park Slope, this comics-focused bookstore is dedicated to excellent customer service and hosts many comics-related events.
BookCourt 163 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 875-3677 An excellent independent bookstore in Cobble Hill that hosts frequent readings and events.
Brooklyn Museum Shop 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238 (718) 638-5000 Books and gift items at the Brooklyn Museum.
The Community Bookstore 143 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215 (718) 783-3075 One of Brooklyn’s oldest independent bookstores, located in Park Slope.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Bookstore 2 E 91st Street (at 5th Avenue), New York, NY 10128 (212) 849-8355 Architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, textiles, costume and fashion, decorative arts, classic children’s titles, garden design, and select titles that reflect changing exhibits at the museum.
Desert Island 540 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (718) 388-5087 Excellent shop for comic books, graphic novels, art books, zines, novelty items and a lot of author events.
Greenlight Bookstore 686 Fulton Street (corner of South Portland), Brooklyn, NY 11217 (718) 246-0200 Located a short walk from Pratt’s Brooklyn campus, this recently-opened independent literary bookstore promises to be a great addition to the neighborhood.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Bookstore 1071 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10028 (at 89th Streeet) (212) 423-3615 Museum publications, books and catalogs on twentieth century art, architecture, photography and film; posters, cards, slides.
Heights Books 120 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 624-4876 One of the best used bookstores in Brooklyn, specializes in art, design, photography, philosophy, and history.
International Center for Photography Bookstore 1133 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036 (at 43rd St) (212) 860-1777 Current photography books, catalogs, posters, and postcards.
Kinokuniya 1073 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10018 (212) 869-1700 Japanese art and architecture.
Melville House Publishing 145 Plymouth Street (at Pearl Street), Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 722-9204 Small publishing house and bookstore featuring only independent press books, Melville House also hosts frequent readings and other literary events.
Metropolitan Museum of Art Bookstore 1000 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10028 (212) 570-3726 In-print museum publications. Current art books and catalogs, including many with foreign titles; posters, collectables, slides, cards.
OAN Oceanie/Afrique Noire 15 W 39th Street, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10018 (212) 840-8844 Art book specialists dealing with Africa, Oceana, Southeast Asia, Asia, the Middle E and the Americas.
Perimeter 21 Cleveland Place, New York, NY 10012 (212) 334-6559 Books, posters and postcards devoted to architecture, furniture, and design.
powerHouse Books 37 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 666-3049 Combination publishing house, bookstore and performance venue that specializes in fine art, documentary, pop cultire and fashion.
Printed Matter Bookstore 195 Tenth Avenue, New York, NY 10011 (212) 925-0325 Modern and contemporary art, especially artists’ books and art magazines.
Rizzoli 31 W 57th Street, New York, NY 10019 (212) 759-2424 New books on fine arts, design, interiors, architecture, photography.
Rocketship 208 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 797-1348 An excellent comic book, graphic novel and cartoon art store in Cobble Hill.
Spoonbill & Sugartown 218 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (718) 387-7322 Predominantly art and design books, current and out-of-print, rare titles, collector’s editions, local zines and artist books.
St. Marks Bookshop 31 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10003 (212) 260-7853 Modern and contemporary art and architecture and criticism, Avant-garde titles, art magazines.
Strand Bookstore 828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 (212) 473-1452 The largest second hand bookstore in the U.S. Emphasis on art and rare books.
Ursus Books Ltd. 981 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10021 (212) 772-8787 Out of print books and museum catalogs, fine illustrated books.
WORD 126 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222 (718) 383-0096 Located in Greenpoint, WORD stocks literary fiction, non-fiction, stationery, children’s books and a nice selection of journals.