Browsing The Shelves At The Strand Bookstore

Written under maiden name Emily Harris for NYCWave.com, a website for New York City residents and tourists alike. Published on August 28, 2012. (Original Post)

The Strand bookstore is a booklover’s paradise. One of the largest used bookstores in the world the Strand has delighted New Yorkers and visitors for 85 years. From floor to ceiling, shelf after shelf of new and used books make it easy to believe the Strand’s claim to housing 18 miles of books.

The Strand first opened in 1927 on Fourth Avenue, which at that time was known as Book Row having 48 bookstores along it. It eventually relocated to its present site at Broadway and 12th Street. Started by Ben Bass, it has been kept in the family throughout the years.

Books are everywhere in this this store. It’s a labyrinth of shelves, tables, and displays. The first floor features new and featured books, fiction, merchandise, and a place to sell your own books to the Strand. The second floor has an extensive selection of children’s and young adult literature, as well as comic books, art, and photography. The third floor is reserved for rare and valuable books. Should you wish to purchase one here, you will be escorted downstairs to checkout by a Strand employee. The basement level houses books of nonfiction as well as books reviewed by Strand employees. Reviews can also be found online.

No space is wasted. Books on sale line the outside of the store as well, some only 84 cents. The third floor is referred to as the Rare Book Room, and in addition to housing valuable books it is the site of the Strand’s various events held weekly.

Events hosted by the Strand range from book discussions to celebrity readings to speed dating. The Strand asks that visitors purchase either a copy of the book of the night or a Strand gift card for admittance.

Various souvenirs are available for purchase, such as t-shirts, tote bags, and coffee mugs. The Strand even has its own Moleskine journal. Should you wish for a little extra pocket change, the Strand buys books. On the first floor you may bring in your books for evaluation and sell them to the store. The buying desk is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Overall, the Strand is a place that cannot be missed. In a city that is renowned for it’s love for literature and the arts, the Strand is a treasure.

Transportation
Subway: Union Square Station (lines 4, 5, 6, N, Q, R)

Website: http://www.strandbooks.com
Hours: Monday to Saturday 9:30 AM to 10:30 PM; Sunday 11:00 AM to 10:30 PM
Rare Book Room closes at 6:15 PM daily
Buying Desk open Monday to Saturday 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Address: Location: 828 Broadway  New York, NY 10003

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