Independent Booksellers of New York City

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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

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

IBNYC Summer Update

32_26_arts_wordbasketball01_zHello indie friends! We hope summer is going swell for y’all. We’ve been busy reading (of course!) so we’ve taken a break from regular updates on the blog until the worst of the summer heat has past. We’ve put our Upcoming 25 on hold, but watch this space on August 25th for the September edition, which promises to be a jam-packed listing of events happening at indie bookstores around NYC. We’ve also taken a break from our regular news roundups, but will get back into that post-Labor Day.

However, in the meantime, do keep an eye on our Twitter feed, where we continue to link to recent mentions of NYC indie bookstores in the news. We’ll also start mentioning more events and will RT (re-tweet) the best tweets of indie bookstores around NYC. (Check out our list of which stores are on Twitter and Facebook.)

32_21_unnameablebooks01_zHere are just a few news stories about NYC indies to appear in recent weeks: Unnameable Books moved to a new home, Nancy Bass recalls MJ’s Strand shopping spree, a look at the living quarters of the BookCourt family, a mid-season update on WORD’s literary basketball league, Spoonbill & Sugartown prepare to celebrate 10 years, Housingworks is a venue to love, Idlewild is an armchair traveler paradise and Greenlight Bookstore is on it’s way to a fall opening!

bookstore-owners350One special date to to tell you about now – Please mark your calenders for a special week we’re planning for later this fall: IBNYC’s Indie Bookstore Week NYC will take place November 15-21, 2009. Stay tuned for details about special events and programming happening that week at indies throughout the city.

Don’t forget to be our Facebook fan, follow us on Twitter, and join our email list. Thanks so much for your support. Enjoy the rest of summer — and happy reading!

Written by ibnyc

July 29, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Posted in News

IBNYC Website Update!

logoWe’re kicking off Book Expo America this week with a redesigned website! We’ve still got a lot of tweaking to do, but are thrilled to finally have photos of some of our member stores on the site home page, as well as a bit more color and shape incorporated into the overall design. Please bare with us — there are still many more improvements to come…

A reminder too, you can sign up for our email list, join our Facebook group, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our blog’s RSS feed to receive updates about news, events and other activities of NYC’s independent booksellers.

And be sure to check out our May 2009 Indiebound Spotlights – great NYC indie booksellers tell us about their favorite neighborhood businesses.

Written by ibnyc

May 28, 2009 at 5:16 am

Posted in News

IBNYC Monthly News Roundup – April/May 2009

707ftbooksDid you see who Time Out New York picked as their favorite independent bookstores for this year’s shopping guide? Here’s the scoop on the eight stores that made their list: WORD, McNally Jackson, Housingworks, Three Lives & Co (pictured here), the Strand Bookstore, Partner’s & Crime, St. Mark’s Bookshop and Spoonbill & Sugartown.

Who else is talking about indie bookstores in NYC?

The Columbia Spectator features Park Slope’s Community Bookstore, and Bookslut chats with the owner, Catherine Bohne. Another bookseller, Susie Lupert of Housingworks, is interviewed at Gothamist. Housingworks also gets some love from Broadway actress Lauren Ambrose, who simply can’t live without the bookstore cafe, watch the video here.

3497787958_2bd0bac071Fun was had by all on Saturday’s NYC Indie Bookstore Tour with The Millions: Max has a short recap, including photos of the goods that were purchased, and the couple that got engaged on the last leg of the tour! Pretty cool, huh?

Finally, how about this – a NYC indie bookseller helps out Colm Toibin, author of the just released novel Brooklyn:

“Someone waited on me once in the Strand Bookstore, and he told me he lived in Brooklyn,” Toibin said. “So I took his card, and when I was writing the book, I e-mailed him and said: ‘Is there anything going on in the street? Right now, whatever it is, describe it to me.’ And he wrote back, ‘It’s so cold, people are walking with scarves covering their faces so you could only see their eyes.’ ” It’s in the book.

Starting tomorrow, and throughout the month of May, we’ll be doing special Indiebound features with indie bookstores from around the city. Stay tuned. Oh, and thanks to everyone who supported indie stores on Buy Indie Day and Free Comic Book Day!

Written by ibnyc

May 4, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Posted in News, Roundup

Buy Indie Day

Have you heard that today has been declared International Buy Indie Day? We’ve been reading the buzz about it at Indiebound, and on Facebook and Twitter. And now the day has arrived! Thanks for whatever you can do today to spread the message, and support an indie bookstore with a purchase!

And for many of us, today may be about more than just one day’s worth of supporting an indie store. How about this, from Carol Fitzgerald of The Book Reporter, at The Huffington Post:

What if I looked at the places I really love to shop at and figured out a way to buy something from them in the next 30 days? I would not plunk down money wildly, but I want to take a serious look at the special places where I like the selection, personal service or the ambiance. And support them.

May I ask you to take a moment and do the same thing, especially with places like indie stores and small size companies that you love? Friday, May 1st has been identified as a Shop Indie Bookstore Day, and readers are encouraged to buy books from independent store owners. I’d love to see you support this effort. Click on to find the indie bookstore nearest you.

It’s not about crass materialism. It’s about supporting the places — and the people who run them — that you love. So they always will be there for you.

Lots of other folks are saying nice things too, we’re just short on time to link to them all. But be sure — indie bookstores around NYC and elsewhere thank you for the support, today and everyday.

PS: Reminder that tomorrow is The Millions NYC Indie Bookstore tour – keep the indie goodness going tomorrow with a visit to several IBNYC stores. Get all the details (included an update to the itinerary) here.

Written by ibnyc

May 1, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Posted in News

IBNYC Monthly News Roundup – March/April 2009

bookstoremapHere are some links to mentions of independent bookstores in New York City over the past month, beginning with several links to maps of bookstores* around the city:

Yeah! The First Annual Millions Walking Tour of NYC Indie Bookstores is slated for Saturday, May 2. Will you be there? The Millions team also updated and revised their great online NYC bookstore walking tour guide and created a Collaborative Atlas of Book Stores and Literary Places.

Literanista hunts for indie bookstores in the Bronx and Spanish Harlem. Help her – and us! – fill in the blanks. We know La Casa Azul Bookstore is planning to open in El Barrio and we’ll see that Cemi Underground gets added to the Indiebound map. (*Do you know of any other indie bookshops in these areas or Queens/Staten Island too? We are trying to make sure that our list of indie bookstores in the five boroughs is as complete as possible, so drop us a comment and join Indiebound, where you can easily add stores to their database of all things indie!)

Time Out New York mentions Book Culture, East West Books and BookCourt in their Philosopher’s Guide to NYC.

Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn visits Vox Pop and shares news of its pending reopening. OTBKB also reports on a recent challenge at The Community Bookstore in Park Slope.

A few booksellers making news: Peter Miller, of Freebird Books & Goods, shares his SXSW stories on his blog and at Publisher’s Weekly. And Gabe Fowler, of Desert Island, is Bookslut’s Indie Heartthrob of the week.

We surely overlooked some shout-outs or news about indies in NYC, so comment below if you have a mention to share!

(*It’s great to have these other map resources available, since our own IBNYC Google map seems to be out of commission at the moment. We hope to get her working again in the coming month.)

Written by ibnyc

April 8, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Posted in News, Roundup