Independent Booksellers of New York City

Shop local – Don't go by the book!

IBNYC Photo Scavenger Hunt Winners and Pictures

We had first and second place winners in our photo scavenger hunt during Independent Bookstore Week NYC. Here they are, with just some of the photos they submitted for the contest:

First place winner Megan Eiss-Proctor:

with the black cat at Book Culture on Broadway:

with the Statue of Liberty at Vox Pop:

with the trick fireplace at Partners & Crime:

and the Bruce Lee collage at Book Thug Nation:

and with her receipt (for a copy of A Cure for Night) at Greenlight Bookstore!

And here’s second place winner Karla Sy:

with the Maus poster at the Strand:

with the knitting needles at McNally Jackson:

with the Ganesh at East West Living:

and with “a menagerie for the hand” at Bank Street:

A VERY special thanks to Gillian Lay from Como Sales for coordinating the hunt! Here she is at WORD with a 10 point item from the hunt:

Thanks also to Workman Publishing, Book Culture and McNally Jackson for donating the prizes, and to everyone who participated!

Written by ibnyc

December 2, 2009 at 10:33 am

Posted in Events

Thanks for Your Support of NYC Indies!

Thanks to everyone for supporting New York City’s indie bookstores during the The First Independent Bookstore Week NYC. We hope you had a nice time browsing at any shops you may have visited, enjoyed the events you may have attended and are happy with any purchases you might have made.

Here are some photos from the kick-off party (thanks to Jim Bearden.) Many different people and groups and businesses made the events of this week possible – thanks to all of you!

The week-long celebration has come to a close – but the busy holiday shopping season has just begun. Thanks for remembering your local bookstore and other local businesses for great gifts. Consult the IBNYC indie bookstore list and map to help plan your holiday shopping. Also check out Indiebound to find other independent businesses in your neighborhood.

Thanks for celebrating indie bookstores with us during the past ten days. Happy shopping and happy reading this holiday season!

And stay tuned for pictures and news about the winners of the Photo Scavenger Hunt – coming soon.

Written by ibnyc

November 23, 2009 at 8:29 am

Posted in Events

NYC Indie Bookstore Handsell

It’s hump day! Are you enjoying Independent Bookstore Week NYC? How are you supporting your favorite indie? Have you attended an event? Maybe snapped some photos for the scavenger hunt? Stopped by Bonnie’s for some cookies? No matter what you do this week to show some indie love, we thank you for your support.

And we offer up some book recommendations in return (that IS what it’s all about, right?) Yesterday a number of NYC indie booksellers shared their preferred picks on the airwaves and online – here’s a recap:

Marva Allen (of Hue-Man Bookstore), Sarah McNally (of McNally Jackson Books), and Christine Onorati (of WORD) talked about indie bookstores and their favorite titles on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show. You can listen to the segment and see a list of all the books they suggested.

In the comments section on the radio show, it was nice to see listeners write about their favorite indies — at least 20 different NYC independent bookstores were mentioned! (They also praised some great indies elsewhere in NY state and beyond.)

Another list of recommendations from indie bookstores popped up over at, where booksellers and customers from Greenlight Bookstore (in Ft. Greene) and WORD (in Greenpoint) shared their favorite titles: What’s on Brooklyn’s Nightstand? Their picks include fiction, non-fiction, comics and a kid’s title too!

What have indie booksellers or shoppers been recommending to you? Let us know in the comments.

Written by ibnyc

November 18, 2009 at 9:06 am

Posted in News

Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks + Cookies!

Did you see what Bonnie had at her shop today? Yeah, those are Elegant Jam Thumbprints by Katherine Yang – yum! Bonnie will not be open on Tuesday, but she wanted to be sure we posted her homemade cookie schedule for the rest of the week. She’ll be open every day (except Tuesday), from 1-7 pm. All cookies guaranteed homemade with real BUTTER (and no nuts). Any leftovers will be humanely stored and served the next day! Here is the lineup:

Wednesday 11/18:  Coconut-lime Shortbreads
Thursday 11/19:  Chocolate and Coffee Sandwich Cookies
Revised for Thurs –> Pecan-Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies!
Friday 11/20:  Brown-sugar icebox cookies
Saturday 11/21:  Bonnie’s Bubbe’s Mohn Cookies
Sun 11/22: (still open 1-7, no doubt with leftovers!)

Stop by and visit her wonderful bookstore at 163 W. 10th Street. Take a photo of a 1922 gas range while you’re there – worth 10 pts. in the scavenger hunt!

Written by ibnyc

November 16, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Posted in Events

IBNYC Photo Scavenger Hunt – Master List!

Independent.Bookstore.print.72dpiThe hunt is ON! You’ve got a week to accumulate as many points as you can. Refer to this post for all the rules of the photo challenge contest.

Here’s the master list of all the items up for grabs in the hunt – different point values can be acquired for each, as noted below. Just take a picture of yourself with as many of the following items at the  stores over the course of the week and submit your photos for a chance to win prizes!


at BABBO’S BOOKS (242 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn)
– the store cat, Holly (+10)
– oversize posters of Ezra Jack Keats’ Whistle for Willie and The Snowy Day (+3 each)

at BOOK THUG NATION (100 N3rd St btw Berry & Wythe, Brooklyn)
-a clothes iron (+5)
-a Bruce Lee Collage (+ 10)
-a series of books with titles such as “How to Identify Faults Without Changing them”, “How To Increase Worries”, “Phony Self-Improvement”, “Holding Grudges”, etc. (+3 each)

at GREENLIGHT BOOKSTORE (686 Fulton Street, Brooklyn)
-Candlewick Bear (+10)
-Inside Maisy’s playhouse with the Candlewick Bear (+15)
-Your name on a Greenlight receipt (+20)

at POWERHOUSE ARENA (37 Main St, Brooklyn)
-who built the Arena steps in The powerHouse Arena? (+5)
-the current exhibition in The powerHouse Arena is based on which photography book? (+5)
-What is the name of Japanese company that currently has a pop-up store in The powerHouse Arena? (+5)

at VOX POP CAFÉ (1022 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn)
-the Vox Pop Statue of Liberty (+10)

at WORD (126 Franklin St, Brooklyn)
-a typewriter (of which there are three) (+3 each)
-a rocking chair (+5)


at BANK STREET BOOKSTORE (Broadway and 112th St)
– The Cat in the Hat and friends “hanging” around (+10)
– “a menagerie for the hand” (+10)

at BONNIE SLOTNICK COOKBOOKS (163 West Tenth Street)
-a 1922 gas range (+10)

at BOOK CULTURE on 112th St (536 West 112th Street)
-Muslim women praying at dawn (+5)
-a vase of yellow flowers (+5)
-a picture of a burned-out library (+10)

at BOOK CULTURE ON BROADWAY (2915 Broadway at 114th St.)
-lavender (+10)
-a black cat (+10)

at EAST WEST LIVING (78 Fifth Avenue @ 14th Street)
-a large bronze Ganesh statue (+15)

at HOUSING WORKS BOOK CAFÉ (126 Crosby St, between Jersey St & Prince St)
-William Faulkner’s signature (+15)

at LOGOS BOOKSTORE (1575 York Ave)
– card mobiles featuring a: butterfly, cardinal, eagle, mallard duck, bear, light brown dog,  ruby throated hummingbird, brook trout, green fish, flamingo, white and brown spotted dog, black dog (3+ each)
-Great Philosopher Finger Puppets (+10)

at MCNALLY JACKSON (52 Prince St)
-15-gauge knitting needles (+10)
-the land bridge between Oceania and Canada (+5)
-a porcelain bird with a broken tail (+15 – bonus 5 points if you learn its provenance)
-“A donkey so terrifying, it could only be meant for children” (+20)

at PARTNERS & CRIME (44 Greenwich Ave, corner of Charles)
– the Partners & Crime logo painting (+5)
– a trick fireplace (+10)

at the STRAND (828 Broadway at 12th St.)
– a poster featuring Art Spiegelman’s Maus (+5)
– a gold Vault (+10)
– a hidden stairway (+15)

at URBAN CENTER BOOKS (457 Madison Ave)
-digital bookshelves (+5)
-the giant head of Jane Jacobs (+5)
-a map of Antarctica (+10)
-a bald Eagle (+15)

Bonus points you can accumulate from any store:

A picture of yourself…

-With a signed copy of Jonathan Lethem’s Chronic City (+10 – we’ll need to see the signature page)

-Playing with the Miniature Book of Miniature Golf (+ 10)

-Reading aloud from The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge (+5)

Written by ibnyc

November 15, 2009 at 8:00 am

Posted in Events

IBNYC Photo Scavenger Hunt (November 15-21)

4840_135291040936_706840936_3327566_6993751_nCalling all photo enthusiasts and bookstore lovers – we’ve created a little photo challenge for Independent Bookstore Week NYC that will sent you on the hunt to indie bookstores around the city. The list of ttems to locate won’t be posted until Nov. 15th, but we wanted to start spreading the word about how this contest will work. Here are the details, check back on 11/15 for the list of scavenger hunt items!

We’re hosting a photo scavenger hunt during Independent Bookstore Week NYC. You can use the hunt as a creative way to visit some indie bookstores during the week-long celebration of indie bookselling in NYC. Take specific pictures during the process, and you could be eligible to win some great prizes.

The Indie Bookstore Week NYC Scavenger Hunt will begin as soon as the list of hunt items is posted on the IBNYC blog on the morning of November 15th. The hunt will close at 11:59 p.m. on November 21st. No submissions will be accepted after that time.

You must photograph yourself, or some part of your person (hand, foot etc.), in front of each object on the list. Each object is given a point value, based on how hard we believe it is to find or photograph. The goal of the hunt is to accumulate as many points as possible. Keep in mind that this is more of a choose-your-own-adventure hunt: if you’re able to get one or two of the high-scoring bonus points, you can opt out of getting a few of the lower-point objects. You don’t necessarily have to find everything on the list to win.

When you’re finished hunting, please go to and create a free account (it’s easy!). Upload your photos to a folder, and name the folder IBNYC Scavenger Hunt. Click the “share this album” button and send your album to You’ll get an automatic response e-mail as soon as we’ve received your submission.

The person who scores the highest number of points will win. The winners will be contacted, and announced on this page, by Tuesday, November 24.

The 1st place winner will receive a gift basket filled with elegant, electrifying, and otherwise exceptional books, along with this year’s Indie Bookstore Week poster designed by New Yorker cartoonist and illustrator Bruce McCall, plus an IBNYC tote bag.

The 2nd place & 3rd place winners will receive gift certificates to select NYC indie bookstores.

Watch the IBNYC blog at:

As soon as the list is added on the morning of Nov. 15th — you may start hunting. GOOD LUCK

Planning to participate? Let us know – RSVP at the Facebook page for the hunt!

Written by ibnyc

November 10, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Events

Events, Programs, Sales, Free Cookies + More!

ibnyclogo(2)We’re hard at work loading in listings to our events calendar for Independent Bookstore Week NYC. There are fantastic literary programs happening throughout the city, plus some special sales, promos, special displays and events for kids too. Beginning this Wednesday, November 11, we will post highlights on this blog each day detailing what is happening at indies around the city. If you want to plan ahead, click here to view a listing of all events already scheduled.

And don’t forget to join us at powerHouse Arena this Wednesday night from 7-10 pm for the kick-off party! Details for the party are here and RSVP suggested here (Facebook) or to

What’s this week all about anyway? Here’s some info:

For the first time, New York City booksellers unite to celebrate Independent Bookstore Week November 15-21, 2009, a citywide event highlighting the diverse cultural contributions made by indie bookshops across the five boroughs. Featuring special author appearances, events, promotions and in-store displays, the week will kick off with a party at powerHouse Arena and conclude on America Unchained Day. A special poster designed by New Yorker cartoonist Bruce McCall will be on display in participating shops and available for sale.

Independent.Bookstore.print.72dpi“Indie bookstores are a great cord in New York City’s cultural fabric. This week is an opportunity to thank consumers for keeping indie bookstores thriving,” says IBNYC board member Chris Doeblin, owner of Book Culture. “We want to celebrate and recognize the unique qualities of the stores, and thank everyone for choosing to shop independent.”

Despite the gloomy predictions about the fate of the printed word and its retailing, bookselling in New York has demonstrated considerable resilience in the past year, as well as signs of new life. While veterans like St. Marks and Three Lives remain landmarks in their neighborhoods and prove customer loyalty has not slipped, established bookshops such as Book Culture, Book Court, and Posmans are actually expanding in size.  But most inspiring is the arrival of young entrepreneurs not afraid to open new shops in underserved communities: Greenlight (in Ft. Greene), Idlewild (in Midtown Manhattan), WORD (in Greenpoint), and the forthcoming Boulevard Books (in Dyker Heights).

As Amazon and Wal-Mart battle over the price of just ten commercial titles, New York independents remind readers that they have hundreds of thousands more books at their disposal. Providing personal service and recommendations lost on the big box and chain level, locally-owned, community-supported booksellers are New York’s most reliable literary curators.

Indie Bookstore Week NYC ends on Nov. 21, America Unchained Day, a national campaign to encourage consumers to “unchain” for at least one day, boosting their local economy by shopping, dining out and conducting other business transactions at neighborhood establishments.

Written by ibnyc

November 9, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Posted in Events

Authors share thoughts on independent bookstores

Some of our favorite authors recently shared thoughts with us on what independent bookstores mean to them:

“There is a little independent bookstore down the street from my house – Three Lives – where I buy almost all of my books. It’s the size of a small apartment. There’s something special about a place where you know that someone has thought about every book in the store.” — Malcolm Gladwell, What the Dog Saw

“”Independent” and “Bookstore” are two of my favorite words, and when you put them together it stirs my heart (and usually gets me reaching for my wallet). I’ve worked in independent bookstores, sometimes slept in them after hours when I had no where else to go, and now feel they’re my home away from home whenever I pry myself out of the cave of my studio to meet my readers. Such places are, for me, the heart of human civilization — long may they wave.” — Jonathan Lethem, Chronic City

“The value of indie bookstores is the value of the humane.”  — Joseph O’Neill, Netherland

Written by ibnyc

October 31, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Posted in News

Celebrate Indie Bookselling in NYC!

Kick Off Party for

Independent Bookstore Week NYC

November 11, 2009

at powerHouse Arena

7-10 PM


7 PM

Reception (wine and/or beer and light snacks)

Live music by Mark Ettinger

7:30 PM

Brief remarks from local writers on independent bookselling in NYC

Kurt Andersen (Reset and Heyday)

Michael Greenberg (Hurry Down Sunshine and Beg, Borrow Steal)

Jennifer Egan (The Keep, The Invisible Circus and Look at Me)

Josh Neufeld (A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge)

Sharon Zukin (Naked City, The Cultures of Cities, Point of Purchase)

John Sargent, CEO, Macmillan

9:00 PM

Performance by Brooklyn’s own Jones Street Station

9:45 PM

Raffle Drawing

Prizes include books and a special signed edition of the poster
created by Bruce McCall for this event.

Books by the featured authors will be on sale throughout the evening.

Posters (signed and unsigned) will be available as well as IBNYC totes.

There will be a selection of book and book-related giveaways donated by the publishers.

Suggested donation at the door of $10 to benefit The Independent Booksellers of NYC (IBNYC)

Facebook users – RSVP here!


Written by ibnyc

October 30, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Posted in Events

First Independent Bookstore Week NYC

Independent.Bookstore.print.72dpiGet ready to celebrate independent bookselling all over New York City! The IBNYC is hosting the first ever Indie Bookstore Week NYC!

Special author appearances, events and promotions will happen throughout the city from November 15-21, and a special pre-week party will take place on November 11 from 7-10 pm at powerHouse Arena. Featured authors speaking at the event will include: Kurt Andersen (Heyday), Jennifer Egan (The Keep), Michael Greenberg (Beg, Borrow, Steal), Josh Neufeld (A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge) and Sharon Zukin (Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places) The party will include refreshments, giveaways and live music – Jones Street Station will be performing! It is open to the public, with a suggested donation of $10 to IBNYC at the door.

You’ll hear lots more about all of this in coming weeks, but be sure to save the date for the Kick-off party and week-long celebration to follow. And take a look at the special poster designed by New Yorker cartoonist and illustrator Bruce McCall. Copies will be available for sale at indie bookstores throughout the city and at the kick-off event. Hope to see you there, RSVP via Facebook here.

Written by ibnyc

October 21, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Posted in Events