While I love books in all shapes and forms, there’s one category I’ve been particularly focusing on recently — vintage and rare editions. From the author-signed copies to the very first printings of familiar titles, it’s fascinating to hold those and flip through the pages examining the form and design of the book. Manhattan is a perfect place for vintage book enthusiasts like myself so I’ve set out to travel the island in search of interesting used and rare bookstores.
1. Mast Books
One of the most legendary and cozy art bookstores in New York City has just reopened in a new space. Each and every book within the store is unique, and like a gallery, the one-of-a-kind books are part of a collection. Because of this exclusivity, the entire store was designed to be an organized space, one that showcases the books without being too cluttered.
2. Mercer Street Books
In 25 years, the bookshop has become part of the history of Greenwich Village. Filled from floor to ceiling with interesting, esoteric and weird books it’s a great destination to wander around for a few hours — especially on Fridays and Saturdays when the shop is open until midnight.
A recently opened bookstore that is both tiny and charming — sells used and new books of all kinds, with an emphasis on literary fiction and art.
November 6 at 6:30 p.m.
Book reading by John Godfrey + Jennifer Soong
See all upcoming events
4. Argosy Books
Unbeknownst to many New Yorkers, Argosy Book Store in Midtown Manhattan is the city’s oldest independent bookstore. Opened in 1925, today it is in its third generation of family ownership and occupies a massive six-floor building on East 59 Street filled with vintage and rare books, first editions, autographs, art, antique maps & prints, and the history of science & medicine.
Open Monday—Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
116 East 59 St. (View in map)
5. B&B Rare Books
Off the public view on East 20 St. on Manhattan is a small but mighty rare bookstore with signed and first edition titles — the closest you will ever get to one of the most unique books out there.
6. High Valley Books
A truly fascinating and unique — hidden in the basement of a home by McCarren Park in Greenpoint, Brooklyn is a destination for architecture and fashion books and rare magazines.
See and explore more vintage & rare bookshops in New York City with a free guide.
– Includes 15 of my favorite rare bookstores
– Click on the banner to open in Google Maps