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Literary Places

This database of writerly destinations—places writers can visit for inspiration, to promote their writing, for research, and to discover community—includes historical sites, reading venues, literary collections, writing centers, and writers spaces. Save your selections to My P&W and populate a personal Google Map that can be used to plan reading tours and visits to literary meccas, or just to keep track of your favorite literary locales.

  • New York, NY

    Alabaster Bookshop is the last of the secondhand bookstores that once lined Fourth Avenue. Just around the corner from the Strand, this bookshop is much smaller and more affordable, with trade paperbacks sold at half the cover price and two... read more

  • New York, NY

    Argosy Book Store has been in business for eighty nine years, making it New York City's oldest independent book store. Now in its third generation of family ownership, Argosy has an extensive stock of antiquarian and out-of-print items. The store... read more

  • New York, NY

    B&B Rare Books specializes in eighteenth through twentieth century American, British, and French literature, modern first editions, poetry, mystery and detective fiction, children's literature, and signed and inscribed books. After graduating... read more

  • New York, NY

    Bauman Rare Books was first housed in the lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, then moved to Madison Avenue between Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Streets thirteen years ago. The shop has a constantly changing display of over 4,000 books and... read more

  • New York, NY

    This independent bookstore was originally known as Biography Bookshop, and was located on the corner of Bleecker and Eleventh Streets when it opened in 1984. Upon moving to 266 Bleecker Street in 2010, the shop's name changed and is now known as... read more

  • New York, NY

    Books of Wonder opened on September 2, 1980 as a bookshop specializing in antique children's books. Today, the shop stocks new titles as well as beloved classics and still has a large selection of old, rare, and collectible children's books. Many... read more

  • New York, NY

    Chartwell considers itself "a bookstore in the classic tradition." For thrity years they have been selling rare and out-of-print Winston Churchill books, as well as books on the military, motors, baseball, photography, jazz, classic fiction, and... read more

  • New York, NY

    Crawford Doyle Booksellers has been a neighborhood institution for over eighteen years. The staff carefully selects titles to ensure that the small space offers only the most exciting and thought-provoking books. The shop is a member of the... read more

  • New York, NY

    Donald Herald Rare Books, Prints & Maps offers antiquarian books and prints in the areas of botany, ornithology, natural history, Americana and Canadiana, Native Americans, voyages and travels, maps and atlases, photography, and more. The... read more

  • New York, NY

    East Village Books is a used bookstore whose owner, Donald Davis, was deemed to be the year's most heroic bookseller by the Village Voice in 2011. The store takes in close to five hundred used books a week including scholarly libraries,... read more

  • Brooklyn, NY

    Freebird Books was established in 2004 by Samantha Citrin and Rachel London, and is now owned by local resident, Peter Miller. The shop is located on the Brooklyn waterfront near the docks and container port. Though the hours are limited to the... read more

  • Brooklyn, NY

    Owner Sylvia Levy says her shop is both "the best book store and the worst in the neighborhood" because it's the only one left. Since 1975, the bookstore has stocked new and used books for Sheepshead Bay locals catering to the over half-dozen... read more

  • New York, NY

    James Cummins Bookseller was founded in 1978 and has its main store on Madison Avenue in New York City, New York, as well as two locations in New Jersey. The Madison Avenue store is a quiet and pleasantly furnished book room with a carefully... read more

  • New York, NY

    Located in the West Village, Left Bank Books specializes in literary first editions (fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction), and books on photography, art, music, and film. Although they sell first editions and rare books, Left Bank Books also... read more

  • New York, NY

    In 2009, Brian Leitgeb and his wife opened Mast Books on Avenue A in New York City's East Village. The shop's prices remain modest and affordable, and the collection of used books reflects Leitgeb's personal taste—including literary fiction and... read more

  • New York, NY

    Located in Greenwich Village, Mercer Street Books and Records has been tracking down, buying, and selling interesting, esoteric, and weird books for over twenty years. They stock used, out-of-print, and new books in almost any subject, as well as... read more

  • Brooklyn, NY

    Since opening in late 2006, P.S. Bookshop has been selling used, rare and out-of-print books in the Dumbo district of Brooklyn, New York. The shop specializes in architecture, art, design, and photography, but also has a large selection of poetry... read more

  • New York, NY

    Pete's Tavern, the oldest continuously operating tavern in New York City (founded in 1864), was famously the refuge of short story writer O. Henry (aka William Sydney Porter). He supposedly wrote "Gift of the Magi" in a booth at Pete's in 1905,... read more

  • Brooklyn, NY

    PowerHouse Arena—a self-proclaimed laboratory for creative thought—is a gallery, boutique, bookstore, performance, and events space located in Brooklyn's Dumbo neighborhood. The space is home to the art book publisher, powerHouse Books, and hosts... read more

  • New York, NY

    Printed Matter, Inc., a nonprofit organization located in Chelsea, is one of the world's largest publicly available sources for artists' books. The organization has an open submission process, inviting artists and independent publishers to submit... read more

  • New York, NY

    Shakespeare & Co. is a citywide chain with locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn that offer a neighborhood feel. Books that earn a spot behind the counter, in the display of best-sellers, are determined by the store's weekly receipts, so as to... read more

  • Brooklyn, NY

    Spoonbill & Sugartown, Booksellers was established in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg in 1999. The shop specializes in used, rare, and new books on contemporary art, architecture, and various design fields—with an emphasis on... read more

  • Brooklyn, NY

    The BookMark Shoppe was originally located in Dyker Heights before moving to the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn. Owned and operated by Christine Freglette and Bina Valenzano, who have been friends since junior high school, this independent bookstore... read more

  • New York, NY

    Travel writers Harriet and Arnold Greenberg opened the first travel bookstore in the United States, originally known as the Complete Traveller Bookstore. While the largest number of titles are travel related, the collection also includes many... read more

  • New York, NY

    In 1991, the Greenwich Village Historical Society cited Three Lives & Company for being "a pocket of civility." The shop boasts a knowledgeable staff who aide in directing customers to literary books that they might otherwise overlook and... read more

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