Here’s an experiment for those New Yorkers who find themselves overwhelmed: schedule an hour to walk around your neighborhood and discover a bookstore. Cliché, we know, but there’s nothing like fall to encourage cozying up with a great book—or magazine, or manga, whatever your poison. Below, five novel (!) ideas for an afternoon spent among the stacks (and don’t forget: bookstores are great for gifts, too).

By Michaela Rollings

High Valley Books

If you’re looking for hard-to-find copies of old magazines, photos or novels, this is the place for you. This by-appointment-only store in Greenpoint boasts items like an original 1978 French Vogue and collector cookbooks from the 60’s.


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Kitchen Arts and Letters

It’s all things food-and-drink at this Upper East Side shop. There’s no better place in the city to soak up some cookbook knowledge, lose yourself in some non-Instagram food photography, or learn about the origins of a rare Pinot.


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Westsider Rare & Used Books 

As the name implies, this Upper West Side bookstore sells hard-to-find and used books. The shop’s high ceilings and massive inventory contribute to the shop’s sense of grandeur, as does a lofted second floor packed to the brim with even more reading material.


Book Thug Nation 

Founded by four independent booksellers (and boasting the best store name on this list by far), Book Thug slings used books with a focus on literary fiction, film, and photography. If you’re feeling social, the shop also serves as a community space which hosts lectures, interactive readings and movie screenings.


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Three Lives and Company 

A New York institution, Three Lives is known for their well-curated tomes and knowledgeable staff. With its rustic, wood-covered interior and bright red door, the shop is just about as cozy as you can get—All you need is a latte.


There are hundreds of bookstores in New York—we only picked five. Comment your favorite places below.