As the school year winds down, students can finally think about something that has been hard to fit in their schedules for the past months: recreational reading. Thankfully, there are used book stores all over the city that have plenty of affordable options for summer reading.
The Strand is a classic favorite for recycled book readers. Located on the corner of Broadway and 12th Street, The Strand has everything from newly released novels to obscure non-fiction published decades ago. The top floor is filled with classic literature, banned books and an extensive fiction section, while the basement is packed with non-fiction books from all subject areas. The Strand has far cheaper prices than retail costs for popular novels, and you can also pick up a lesser known novel for only $5 to $7.
St. Mark’s Bookstore
You’ve probably passed this little bookstore on Third Avenue multiple times and thought about how cute it looked, but then you kept walking to the dollar pizza you were after. It is time to go in and check it out. While not necessarily a used book store, St. Mark’s has a wide selection of the newest novels and fair prices on the paperback versions. It also has monthly readings from both popular and up-and-coming authors.
East Village Books
This tiny bookstore on St. Marks Place between First Avenue and Avenue A is the perfect representation of the East Village. It is quirky and filled with strange finds, but it may take time to find exactly what you are looking for. Most paperbacks are priced at around $5. This is the quintessential used bookstore for anyone who has no specific title in mind and hopes to stumble across what may become his new favorite book.
Housing Works Bookstore
Housing Works Bookstore is a non-profit source of funding for an organization that provides housing and medical assistance to people in New York City. This SoHo bookstore is mostly run by volunteers, and all of its proceeds go toward Housing Works’ cause. Most of the books have been donated, and the prices are relatively cheap especially considering proceeds go to charity. It also has a space on the second floor for reading and studying.
Mercer Street Bookstore
If the words Mercer Street bring up bad memories of Writing the Essay, create a new, positive connotation for the phrase by checking out Mercer Street Bookstore. This bookstore has plenty of used books with paperbacks as low as $2. It contains old and rare books and is the perfect place to spend an afternoon browsing. As an added bonus, Mercer Street Bookstore also sells records, so you can engage your inner bookworm and audiophile in one charming location.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 21 print edition. Bailey Evans is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.