12 Best Bookstores in New York City (Families will Love)
There are endless spots for adventure for kids in NYC and one of our favorite types of experiences is the ones that transport us to another world through reading. Luckily, there is no shortage of bookstores, with many including options for the entire family.
Encouraging your kids to read has countless benefits, so a trip to the bookstore is an excellent choice for a family day out. Not the biggest bookworm? Don’t worry: they also have activity books, games and more, providing options for even the pickiest of kids.
Here’s a roundup of 12 of the best bookstores New York has to offer!
Psst..check out the Best Children’s Museums in New York City (that kids will love)
225 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Books are Magic is located in Cobble Hill and is a great getaway for booklovers of any level. In 2017, New York Times best-selling author Emma Straub and her husband opened up their very own bookshop. They believe books are magic and that literature is the best way to create “empathy, transportation, and transformation”.
Designed as an inclusive space for all people, Books are Magic has set up its space to allow children to grow into lifelong readers. You can expect to see a great variety on the shelves, and maybe even expect your little ones to discover something new! With relaxing reading nooks inside the space and read-aloud events, this is the perfect spot to spend your day.
972 5th Ave, New York, NY 10075
Inside of the historic Payne Whitney Mansion, the Albertine bookshop is truly one of a kind. But here’s the catch: they only sell English and French books! With over 14,000 titles, the shop has established a great variety running from classics to contemporary pieces.
The shop itself is a part of the French government’s efforts toward the French-American intellectual exchange and runs on the belief that literature can increase the understanding of human relations. Even if you’re not a huge reader, their incredible celestial painted ceiling is something to check out on its own!
42 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011
Founded in 1980, Books of Wonder is one of New York City’s top children’s bookstores and a hot spot for early readers. As the largest children’s bookstore in the city, its large assortment of both new and used books won’t disappoint. With a selection such as theirs, kids can easily explore different genres and find subjects that draw them in. Between the endless stacks of books and the store’s frequent event offerings, it’s easy to make a day out of a trip to this store.
208 Bay St, Staten Island, NY 10301
Don’t let its small size fool you: this petite bookshop is the home of all sorts of goods. Everything from used books, organic espresso and chocolate, local art and even a garden patio can be found here! With all these great options, this is an exciting location to visit with your whole family. And to top it off, they host live performances on both their indoor and outdoor patios. So, grab a beverage to sip on and enjoy a day of reading.
Fort Greene: 686 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Flatbush: 632 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225
Founded in October 2009, Greenlight Bookstore started as an independent bookstore in Brooklyn. Since then, the store has expanded from the original shop in Fort Greene to its second location and other various pop-ups throughout the city!
Their book selection is wonderful for all ages and levels so everyone in the family will be able to enjoy it. Be sure to look into Greenlight’s kids’ programs. They have virtual story times, book discussion groups for young readers, and a video interview series that they hold with many authors!
163 East 92nd Street, New York, NY 10128
This Upper East Side bookstore will have you and your family feel as if they’ve stepped into another country! Go through their bright red door and experience the French atmosphere that La Librairie des Enfants has created for its visitors. This tiny shop is great for anyone who adores the French language as it is filled with classic and contemporary books written in French and English. Curl up in their reading nooks or enjoy a pastry at their cafe corner!
The shop additionally provides a membership that allows you to check out 15 books a month or activities like the Petites Histoires program which teaches kids about French culture!
75 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10011
Posman Books was founded by book lovers, for book lovers. Their shop is filled with all sorts of books for children and adults alike. They even have a New York-centric! Their shop has been created for the ultimate shopping experience that allows customers to walk through and peruse their carefully curated collection of books, toys, stationary and more. Stay on the lookout for book signings and other events going on at the shop!
Dumbo: 28 Adams St. Brooklyn, NY 11201
Park Slope: 1111 8th Av. Brooklyn, NY 11215
Industry City: 220 36th St., Building #2 (Food Hall), Brooklyn, NY 11232
Powerhouse has done a great job transforming a space for books into so much more. Here at Powerhouse, experience the fun of literature through their excellent selection of all sorts of books. With its three locations, together they host several events for families including a book club for tweens and teens!
Be sure to check out the mini art gallery and community spaces as well. Not only does Powerhouse bring out the best in books, but also provides visitors community, creativity, and imagination.
76 N 4th St Unit G, Brooklyn, NY 11249
52 Prince St, New York, NY 10012
445 Gold St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
4 Fulton St, New York, NY 10038
This independent bookstore has one of the best selections of books in the city, also, including beloved books that are banned in many schools. With the latest bestsellers to those hard-to-find books, the four locations throughout the city all have a unique vibe. The children’s book spaces and nooks encourage kids to explore and get lost in a story. Their free storytime events are like no other- once, we ventured to a book reading where a gorgeous paper mache puppet seemed to have popped right out of one of their children’s books.
96-01 Metropolitan Avenue, Forest Hills NY 11375
Located in the hometown of superhero Spiderman, Royal Collectables is the perfect stop for comic book and novelty lovers. Here you can find a plethora of comic books and indulge in stories about you and your kid’s favorite superheroes and comic figures.
Shop hardcovers and paperbacks from Marvel, DC, Image, IDW, Vertigo, Dark Horse. They also buy and trade vintage comics, so come in and exchange your old belongings. While you’re there, be sure to check out their back room, which has an awesome selection of statues and comic memorabilia.
1942 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10032
This Sisters Uptown Bookstore offers community warmth and stories written by gifted African American authors and other great authors that are masters of the spoken word. This bookstore gem also features a cafe, events and books for kids with many Black lead characters.
828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
Many parents may know of Strand Bookstore already, but now is a great chance to let your kids experience it as well! Strand Bookstore opened in 1927 and is the only remaining bookstore on “Book Row,” which once was a group of 48 bookstores located on Fourth Avenue.
Since then, Strand has remained to be one of New York’s most beloved book shops. Here you will be able to find every type of book you can think of (and has a highly impressive children’s selection as well!). It’s said that if the store’s over 2.5 million books were to be spread across the floor, it would equate to 18 miles of new, used, and rare books.