5 NYC bookstores in Downtown Manhattan to spark your imagination and your dreams

The Mysterious Bookshop

The Mysterious Bookshop

It’s obvious that one of our favorite places in any city is always a charming book shop. A bookstore is, in it’s nature, an inspiring place, so if you add some charm to the place, as well as some love and care it makes things all the more special. Although I’m sure there are more in New York city, one morning I decided to head to Downtown Manhattan in search of some different kinds of bookstores and these were the five that I liked best.

The Mysterious Bookshop

Entrance The Mysterious Book NYC

I started my route on Warren Street, in the trendy neighborhood of Tribeca. The truth is that I was really excited to visit The Mysterious Bookshop, because I love mystery novels with a crime to solve. When I arrived, before I even had time to take out my camera, I was impressed. I went there to do an article, but I didn’t want to take photos right away. I just wanted to spend hours among the books. There was even a comfortable sofa that looked so inviting! All that was missing was a blanket and the time to spend with the books!

Books The Mysterious Book NYC

NYC Bookstores: The Mysterious Book

I was even more excited because this was one of the oldest mystery book shops in the United States, which is in itself, impressive. They had all the books you could think of, and many that I’d never heard of before in the genre of mystery, crime and police novels. In addition, the people working there were all very knowledgable about the field and were really able to help you out. If you like this genre, you should definitely stop here on your trip to New York.

The Mysterious Bookshop

  • Address: 58 Warren St, New York, NY ‎
  • Telephone: (212) 587-1011
  • Official Website: The Mysterious Bookshop
  • Trains: 1 2 3 A C
  • Hours: Mon-Sat: 11am – 7pm

McNally Jackson Books

Stairs McNally Jackson Books NYC

For a lot of people, as you can see from a simple Internet search, this is the crowned jewel of independent bookstores. The truth is that they have good reason to think so, as the collection of titles seems to be endless. The environment created by book lovers who put their love of literature before the commercial. If there is anything that really stands out in this bookshop, it is the number of books in other languages including Spanish.

Piano of McNally Jackson Books NYC

People reading at McNally Jackson Books NYC

You can enjoy a coffee on the upper level, although, in my opinion it’s a bit overwhelming since the tables are very close together and it tends to be a bit noisy. Although, it was quite busy the day that I visited, and from what I’ve read online, it’s always like that, so I’m sure that this all becomes part of the environment. On the lower level there are special little corners, one with an old type writer and another with a piano which I actually saw them install.

McNally Jackson Books

  • Address: 52 Prince St. New York, NY 10012 ‎
  • Telephone: (212) 274-1160
  • Official Website: McNally Jackson Books
  • Trains: 4 6 6X B D F M N R
  • Hours: Mon-Sat: 10am – 10pm; Sun: 10am-9pm

The Housing Work Bookstore Café

Upstairs The Housing Work Bookstore Cafe NYC

The Housing Work Bookstore Café might be my favorite “charming bookshop” in New York. The space has the design of an old industrial factory with recycled elements that combines bookshop, library and café all rolled into one. For those of you that enjoy reading just as much as writing, this is an ideal spot. In the two floors of the bookshop we can find new and second hand books, as well as music and movies.

Having a coffee at The Housing Work Bookstore Cafe NYC

Books and DVDs The Housing Work Bookstore Cafe NYC

The café is at the back and has tables, and benches for you to enjoy your coffee as you read or write, as is my case sometimes. It is close to McNally Jackson Books, with a similar concept, but in my case, it serves a different purpose.

The Housing Work Bookstore Café

  • Address: 126 Crosby St. New York, NY 10012 ‎
  • Telephone: (212) 334-3324
  • Official Website: The Housing Work Bookstore Café
  • Trains: 4 6 6X B D F M N R
  • Hours: Mon–Fri: 10 AM–9 PM, Sat–Sun: 10 AM–5 PM

St. Mark’s Bookshop

Entrance St. Mark’s Bookshop NYC

St. Mark’s Bookshop is one of those places that somehow makes you feel like you have stepped into another time. When I entered the bookshop, I loved the atmosphere and the book friendly environment and, what’s even better is that all of this is enhanced by the friendly staff that shows both experience and love for their job. This is an independent bookstore founded in 1977 in the East Village, an area frequented by artists and writers.

Books St. Mark’s Bookshop NYC

Books St. Mark’s Bookshop NYC

It became famous and is now one of the reference points in the city after having been featured in various culture and travel spaces. The bookshop also reminds you of an industrial period in Manhattan, a period which, in this store, is mixed with books and gives the place a special character. Without a doubt, we ruskommend that you visit, because the area has a lot of interesting places to see.

St. Mark’s Bookshop

  • Address: 31 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10003 ‎
  • Telephone: (212) 260-7853
  • Official Website: St. Mark’s Bookshop
  • Trains: 4 6 6X L N R
  • Hours: Mon–Sat: 10 AM–12 AM, Sun: 10 AM–11 PM

Forbidden Planet New York City

Bookcases at Forbidden Planet New York

We end our route with a thematic bookstore for fans of science fiction, manga, video games and graphic novels. When I saw this shop I thought, at first, that it was the typical manga shop, and I am usually not a big fan. But, when I entered Forbidden Planet, I loved it and it convinced me that I had to include it on this list. They have a way of playing with different worlds, combining sci-fi with figurines, with strategy games and books is fantastic. The space is pretty big and they have made a name for themselves in the city with their large collection and catalogue.

Bookcases at Forbidden Planet New York

Entrance Forbidden Planet New York

It might also be because, apart from all of this, they figured out a way to create a special atmosphere in the shop, a space with an industrial style that has been recycled, as is the style in New York. The store is on Broadway, a few meters from Union Square. The name, taken from the famous American Sci-fi movie from the 50s “Forbidden Planet” pays homage to the environment they have recreated where you travel between different interests.

Forbidden Planet New York

  • Address: 832 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 ‎
  • Telephone: (212) 473-1576
  • Official Website: Forbidden Planet New York
  • Trains: 4 5 6 6X L N Q R
  • Hours: Sun–Tue: 9 AM–10 PM, Wed-Sat: 9 AM–12 AM

As you can see, there are hidden treasures in New York that are worth discovering. If, like us, you enjoy charming spots filled with books, don’t hesitate to give one of these bookstores a try. Whether you are a New Yorker or if you are here on vacation, this route will help you explore a different New York. We ruskommend The Housing Bookstore Café and The Mysterious Bookshop with 5 boquerones. We ruskommend McNally Jackson Books, St. Mark’s Bookshop and Forbidden Planet New York City with 4 boquerones.

Books McNally Jackson NYC

McNally Jackson