Explore Brooklyn's bookstore scene, which is as diverse as the city itself. Explore quaint boutiques and lively bookshops, each with its character and atmosphere.
These bookstores have something for every kind of reader, from collectible first editions to the latest bestsellers. Get lost in the atmosphere of books and booksellers, and chat with the enthusiastic staff.
Brooklyn's bookstores are a paradise for bookworms and add to the cultural richness of this famous New York neighborhood.
The 12 Best Bookstores in Brooklyn
These 12 standout bookshops in Brooklyn beautifully blend the old-world charm of printed pages with the borough's modern, eclectic spirit.
From vast collections in towering shelves to intimate corners with hand-picked recommendations, they cater to every kind of bibliophile.
Ready to embark on a literary adventure? Dive in and discover where Brooklyn's heart truly beats between the pages.
1. Greenlight Bookstore
Photo via Greenlight Bookstore website
This small shop primarily sells old books but also stocks brand-new books. Since they buy so many books from residents, browsing through their shelves may be like going on a treasure hunt.
We found many interesting books, both old and new, on the shelf. I particularly appreciated the large selection of books published by small presses, many of which were signed by local writers.
Photo via WORD website
The Brooklyn WORD Bookstore is one of two stores owned by the company; the other is in Jersey City. What WORD represents is wonderful.
Their motto since beginning in 2007 has been "To be whatever our communities need us to be," which is a terrific example of the flexibility and adaptability that makes small businesses so great.
WORD guarantees that you will be their top priority. In addition, they enjoy throwing parties and chatting with their fantastic clientele. This is the best place to find a group of like-minded readers who will welcome you with open arms.
WORD bookstore is also one of the bookstores in Brooklyn that stay open late. The shop is open every day till 9 PM.
3. Quimby’s Bookstore
Photo via NYC Tourism
This bookstore on Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn carries a carefully curated range of left-leaning fiction and nonfiction.
Most of the books here are on current events, and they're organized by topics, like race, the LGBTQ community, New York, and even punk.
Tote bags, enamel pins, mugs, and more high-quality souvenirs line the shelves of the shop.
Items with catchphrases like "Kittens Against Trump" or "Black Lives Matter" or literary references abound in this section. There's some seriously awesome wall art in here, too.
4. Ben’s Books
Ben's Books, just down the street from Quimby's, is a cute little bookstore with one area devoted to the more feminine side of reading.
You can discover beautiful hardcover versions of science fiction classics here among hefty tomes on art and art history, poetry, sex, and essays.
This book is practically intended for students, carrying whatever the booksellers fancy. Listen to some classical music while you peruse the tarot cards, Tamagotchis, and records they sell behind the counter.
5. Mcnally Jackson
Photo via Brownstoner
It's hard to get a sense of McNally Jackson's expansiveness and beauty from the street. This is one of the most beautiful bookstores I've ever seen, and it's located on a quiet warehouse street in Brooklyn.
The open layout and high ceilings not only attract you but also keep you there, due to the incredible selection of books available.
Those clever booksellers have managed to make every book look like the one you should read. There's a decent collection of magazines, too, and books from all different types of publishers.
6. Unnameable Books
Photo via On the Grid City website
This little bookstore specializes in used books, although it also sells new books. Since they buy so many books from residents, browsing through their shelves may be like going on a treasure hunt.
There were a tonne of great books, both new and old, on the shelf. I also had a great time perusing the selection of books published by small presses and independent authors, many of whom were present to sign their works.
7. Desert Island
Photo via Desert Island website
Desert Island is the best comic book store in all of Brooklyn. Their plywood racks are stacked high with a wide variety of the best comics ever made, including fan favorites, underground gems, and underground classics.
Those wishing to up their comic book consumption will feel right at home at this bright comic shop, which is adorned with experimental and underground art.
8. Spoonbill & Sugartown
Photo via Spoonbill & Sugartown
Entering this bookstore was like visiting a bygone era. You can bet that if Kerouac and Ginsburg stumbled in there, they would be delighted with what they found.
We liked that it had a distinctly Brooklyn vibe because of its prominently exhibited poetry, literary criticism, and classics.
Spoonbill & Sugartown sells both new and used books, as well as some rare titles.
In addition to providing you with the book you came in search of, they hope that you'll be intrigued enough to pick up something you wouldn't normally consider.
9. Book Thug Nation
Photo via Foursquare
The bookstore Book Thug Nation is a peaceful haven of gently-used literary literature.
The charming young woman working the register informed me that the store specialized in the purchase and sale of literary fiction, classics, and other works of "real merit."
The shop even stocks comics published by smaller companies like Image and Top Shelf.
10. Community Bookstore
Photo via Brooklyn Magazine
Community Bookstore has been open for approximately 50 years, providing books to residents of Brooklyn.
The new books collection is fantastic, the staff is always helpful, they have a lovely garden, and they even have a cat and a turtle!
We doubt you'll find it at any of Brooklyn's other bookstores. The community has a book for everyone thanks to their extensive collection. A wide range of ages can find something to read there.
They have a variety of games and puzzles for sale as well. Community Bookstores, like many other Brooklyn bookstores, feature an active events calendar.
11. PowerHouse Arena
Photo via PowerHouse Arena
In our guide to the finest of what DUMBO has to offer, you'll find PowerHouse Arena, which is more than just a bookshop and is one of the best independent bookstores in Brooklyn.
The publisher PowerHouse Books opened PowerHouse Arena in 2006.
They have a wide variety of books, including design and photography books, as well as non-fiction, lifestyle, New York-themed books, and more. PowerHouse is more than just a bookstore; it also has fantastic events.
Once, while strolling around DUMBO, I came across a long queue of people trying to get into a $30 book signing with Carrie Underwood at PowerHouse. That's only one of the many activities they host.
12. Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop
My other advice for a must-do in DUMBO is a stop at Berl's, one of the many fantastic Brooklyn small bookshops.
Located in DUMBO, the Berl family runs the only poetry bookstore in New York, Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Shop.
Their mission is to constantly give poets of all ages a place to express their creativity and connect. In addition to being Brooklyn's sole poetry bookstore, Berl's also sells rare books and handcrafted volumes.
As we conclude our exploration of the finest bookstores that Brooklyn has to offer, it's clear that this borough is a haven for literary enthusiasts.
Each of these bookstores boasts its own unique charm and a carefully curated selection of books to cater to diverse tastes.
The literary experiences they offer extend beyond the pages, creating a sense of community and culture that avid readers will undoubtedly appreciate.
But the world of Brooklyn extends far beyond its bookshelves. To complement your reading journey, why not dive into some of the Best Coffee Shops in Williamsburg Brooklyn, where you can enjoy a steaming cup of your favorite brew as you delve into your latest literary find?
If you're considering making Brooklyn your home, explore our guide to the Best Neighborhoods in Brooklyn to find the perfect place to reside amidst this vibrant borough.
And for those seeking a culinary adventure, discover the Best Vegan Restaurants in Brooklyn to satisfy your gastronomic cravings.
With these resources at your fingertips, you can fully immerse yourself in the cultural, gastronomic, and literary delights that Brooklyn has to offer.
So, whether you're a lifelong resident or a visitor, let this be your guide to unlocking the many facets of this remarkable borough. Happy reading, exploring, and dining!
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