Home to over 2.5 million used, new and rare books—that’s 18 miles of Books—The Strand is always a good time. Buy one of their book-themed tote bags and look like a New Yorker.
If you’re in the neighborhood: Comic fans will definitely want to make the very short trip down the block to Forbidden Planet, one of the biggest and best-stocked comic book stores in the world.
Full of history and jaw-dropping architecture, this gem from a more opulent era is essentially a sacred shrine to books. Stroll through the gorgeous reading rooms and see hundreds of dedicated readers, researchers and students poring over texts. Be sure to check out the rotating collection of free exhibits and the gift shop on the ground floor!
If you’re in the neighborhood: Why go to one library when you can see two? Just across the street is the Mid-Manhattan Branch of the New York library system. While the main branch is a beautiful architectural and historical experience, Mid-Manhattan is a lively, massive working library with daily free events and archives you can explore.
This popular downtown favorite donates 100% of their profits to Housing Works, a non-profit fighting AIDS and homelessness, and is staffed almost entirely by volunteers. Come for the books, stay for the lively events and take something home for a good cause!
If you’re in the neighborhood: Make time for a stop at the bright and airy—and well-stocked— McNally Jackson, an indie bookstore that’s thriving (even in the age of online bookselling).
Of course he’ll always be known in Baltimore, but NYC can claim Poe as a native son, too. A trip to The Bronx will take you the cabin where Poe spent the last years of his life and penned many of his most famous works, including “Annabel Lee.”
Get in the Mood: The Bronx doesn’t get near the respect it deserves for contributions to the arts and literature. Prep for your visit with these great reads written by Bronx authors or set in New York’s northernmost borough.
Located at the southern end of Central Park Mall, the walk is lined with statues of Scottish poet Robert Burns, Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott, American poet Fitz-Greene Halleck, and William Shakespeare.
PS: It’s only a 20-minute walk from the New York Hilton Midtown!
If you’re in the neighborhood: Catcher in the Rye fans will want to check out The Central Park Carousel, where Holden experiences rare happiness.
BONUS RECOMMENDATION: Mystery lovers will absolutely want to set aside time for a trip to Tribeca’s The Mysterious Bookshop, a “Mystery, Crime, and Espionage bookstore specializing in signed first editions, limited editions, and rare crime novels.” If you can believe it, it’s even better than it sounds. The store features almost nightly events and big name authors frequently stop in to sign their stock when they find themselves in town.