Need a distraction? New York City’s local bookstores are here to help. While many are not open for browsing, bookstores across the city are offering curbside pickup and delivery options instead. Get lost in a book (and take a break from reality) by supporting your neighborhood’s shop from the comfort and safety of your home. Ahead, find 15 of our favorite stores offering pick-up and delivery, as well as other virtual resources, like live-streamed book clubs and author events.
Photos courtesy of Book Culture
The latest independent bookstore in danger of closing is the Upper West Side’s beloved Book Culture. Owner Chris Doeblin issued an open letter earlier this week in which he urges the city to provide assistance in the form of an immediate loan. Despite good business—they’ve been able to expand to three storefronts uptown and one in Long Island City—Doeblin has stated that he would need a minimum of $500,000 to keep things afloat and fend off the “awful spiral” of unpaid vendor debts and loans.
McNally Jackson bookstore on Prince Street. Image by Carl Mikoy via Flickr.
Bad news took a U-turn at the start of this year when beloved independent bookstore McNally Jackson announced that it would not be closing its doors on Prince Street in Soho after all. The news came a few months after after owner Sarah McNally, who opened the store in 2004, announced the store would be moving out of the neighborhood due to a 136 percent rent increase (from $350,000 to $850,000). The flagship location of the bookstore is not merely staying open; it will be launching new branches in Williamsburg and Laguardia Airport, and as New York Magazine reports, is on an expansion binge of sorts with stores planned for South Street Seaport and Downtown Brooklyn‘s new City Point complex.
As a Brooklynite surrounded by progressives, I’m well aware of the need to “think globally and act locally” on a whole lot of matters. This persistent mantra seems particularly true when it comes to commerce, prompting those of us who heed such calls to shop (and generally pay more) at farmer’s markets and mom & pop retailers, especially those in our very own neighborhood. This is how vital local businesses can be sustained in an environment rife with soulless, big chain predators. OK. Fine. So I do my part by forking over ten bucks to a farmer for a bunch of kale and a handful of carrots, though I can’t understand why it costs more to buy the stuff direct from the guy who grew it himself. And then there was the time a Hudson Valley hipster tried to sell me a three pound chicken for $27.