As times change and technology advances, our ways of reading have focused on iPad apps and other digital options. Fortunately, the Great American Bookstore is far from dead. This idea holds true over at 828 Broadway at The Strand, one of the biggest and most famous bookstores in New York City.
When I was growing up, there was a Borders bookstore located a few miles from my house. My mom would take my brother and me there, and I slowly amassed a collection of American Girl books. Unfortunately, Borders closed before I was old enough to really appreciate it.
Back in Jacksonville, I would check out Chamblin’s – a used bookstore with thousands of titles in different genres. When I heard about The Strand, I knew I had to check it out.
First opened in 1927, The Strand is one of the last remaining parts of what used to be known as “Book Row.” At its peak, Book Row featured 48 bookstores throughout Fourth Avenue. The store has been family owned since it opened, and staff members have included Patti Smith and Tom Verlaine.
The Strand is known for its “18 miles of books.” Outside of the store is a row of racks with used books. I know that The Strand is known for its huge collection of new titles, but the used section really blew me away. Most of the racks were $1 - $1 for any book! Because the store features a buyback area, (where you can sell your books), there was an extensive collection of books from every genre.
I’ve been looking for this book in the library for weeks! It has about 45 holds against it at the public library, so I grabbed it here for just $1.
They really have some amazing deals here.
The used racks line the sidewalk along the perimeter of the store. I spent some time looking at the titles, and also picked up a cookbook for my roommate.
Once you head inside The Strand, you have three floors to visit.
The Strand has everything. Sometimes bookstores can be a little intimidating if you aren’t sure what you’re looking for, but this place has signs set up on every table. There are more than 2.5 million books for sale!
There’s something for everyone!
One of the surprising parts of The Strand for me was the number of gifts for sale. If books aren’t your thing (really?), you can shop for so many other items.
They have vinyl…
And things like mugs, tote bags, pins, and socks. I had to remind myself that I’m on a budget, so I grabbed a few postcards to mail down to Jacksonville. I really wanted one of those mugs though…
The Strand is a New York City gem. There is nothing like curling up with a good book – a real book, not one on your tablet or phone. Whether you live comics, classics, or something in between, you’ll find your next favorite title at the king of city bookstores.
Interested in more bucket list adventures in New York City? Follow along on Instagram at @fiveboroughbucketlist!