Book Me A Trip: The Strand in NYC

I have nothing against Amazon dot com. I swear. It’s actually the only reason anyone in my extended family has gotten a present in the last three years. We get our diapers there, so it is also the reason there is no fecal matter strewn around our house. I buy about 30 books there every year It’s a great company and I wish I had invented it.


There’s something about a brick and mortar bookstore that makes my insides all a flutter. My heart races and my pulse quickens as I scan the books displayed on a table.

Yesterday, while having a leisurely stroll through NYC, we turned a corner and came face to face with the Taj Mahal of bookstores: The Strand. Lined out in front of the Strand were rows and rows of shelves displaying delicious used books. The outdoor shelves stood like sentinels guarding the palace jewels within.

It took about 45 to make my way inside after being perusing and caressing the outdoor selection. Once inside, I almost swooned. The books. The displays. The aisles jammed with book lovers. I wanted to check out of my hotel and bunk at the Strand in the art book section. I think I learned more flipping through esoteric books yesterday than I did my whole third year of law school. (Case in point: the only thing I remember about Cyberlaw is that…. Wait. I don’t remember any of it.)

So, you can have the Eiffel Tower, that great French metal Christmas tree. You can also have the Venetian canals with the drunk gondoliers who will cop a feel when you exit the boat in your finest Old Navy traveling skirt. I will take a bookstore any day– the creaky wood floors, the intimidating hipster staff, and the faint whiffs of book mold that make me want to release my bowels.

So here are my favorite bookstores for you list lovers:

1. Myopic Books: Chicago
2. Women and Children First: Chicago
3. Seminary Co-op: Chicago
4. Kramerbooks & Afterwards: DC
5. Square Books: Oxford, Mississippi
6. Books, Inc.: San Francisco
7. Book People: Austin

Where’s your favorite? I am sure I will get to vacation again sometime in the next, say, ten years. What’s a must- visit bookstore?


9 thoughts on “Book Me A Trip: The Strand in NYC

  1. Ooooooh!!!!!

    Where is Kramerbooks in DC? I live in Northern VA! And The Strand—ooooooohhh!

      • Grinning–my next book will be centered in DC (okay all my books will be unless I move away) so it sounds like a good research project. I used to work near Dupont.

  2. Not necessarily my favorite but I definitely don’t need an excuse to wander into Centuries and Sleuths in Forest Park. Mysteries and History are the specialty and the owner is vastly knowledgeable. Watch out, he’ll talk your ear off.

  3. Oh I miss Myopic Books sooo much. Reub and I used to go there around 11 pm regularly to see who was there and pick out some bedtime reading. Glad you found a literary oasis in NYC.

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