There’s a bookstore that’s been an East Village staple since 1928 and it’s one of my new favorite New York spots.

I love bookstores. They’re a great place to catch a case of wanderlust and get inspired to travel. New York is filled with them, but the Strand Bookstore stands out.

Just like New York, Strand Bookstore is abuzz with an energy that’s not often found in most library-like shops. But I found its three floors packed with all sorts of books and people, even in the stairwell!

There were so many books in fact, that their super tall bookshelves created tunnel-like alleyways. And instead of being scattered with step-stools to reach the top shelves, the shop boasted 8-foot ladders—the kind you’d normally see on construction sites.

There’s all sorts of books — millions of them and miles of them as advertised on some of the Strand Bookstore merchandise — including new, used, rare, and out of print. But more than just the incredible selection of literature, art, and oddities, the store is just a great place to explore in itself.

One of my favorite moments was when I came upon a weeping wall in the corner of the basement.

I also loved the squeaky creaky wooden floors of the top floor. Even as people talked in hushed tones, the rushing New York city pace made for a cacophonous symphony of creaks, squeaks and groans.

If you go:

Strand Bookstore is only a couple blocks south from Union Square, which has an awesome holiday market and is one of my favorite subway stops to just get off and explore. Definitely check out each level for the best deals, and take the stairs (instead of the elevatore) for some spectacular people watching.

Related reading

Book stores are still one of the best ways to catch a case of wanderlust

Three books you should read while exploring the American West

The Last Book Store, and other off beat, awesome places to shop in LA

— Laura Rowley



Written by Laura Rowley

I am an artist, flight attendant, and travel blogger.

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