About UsPartner With Us

Discover Bookstores

Lost Gem
Pageant Print Shop 1 Bookstores East Village

Pageant Print Shop

Pageant Print Shop’s entirely glass storefront bordered by light blue is instantly eye-catching and proudly displays the treasure within. Inside its bright, buttercream interior, an immense assortment of old prints and maps line every wall and fill neatly-labeled display racks.This sanctuary of beautiful historical pieces was created by Sidney Solomon and Henry Chafetz in 1946. It was originally one of the many second-hand book stores on Fourth Avenue, an area that was then known as “Book Row.” Now under the leadership of Sidney’s daughters, Shirley and Rebecca, Pageant Print Shop primarily sells old prints and is thriving at its current 4th Street location.Having worked with historic pieces her whole life, Shirley knows how to get the best prints. She has amassed her impressive collection from antique book auctions as well as other various sources that she has built up over the years. Rodger, who has been working at Pageant Print Shop for over a decade, told Manhattan Sideways that “what we are looking for are old books with the bindings broken that are really not in very good shape on the outside, but still have good quality prints, maps, or illustrations on the inside.” Although they search for old books based on the contents within, the shop also sells the old bindings for creatives looking to make decoupage and other fun art projects.Pageant Print Shop is definitely a fixture in the East Village, and in the words of Rodger, is “one of those neighborhood jams.” They enjoy “a loyal group of people that have been coming here for eons," tourists looking for something authentically New York City, and neighborhood people walking by. Rodger told us that newcomers are often “surprised that they are able to buy a piece of history,” and return for more of their authentic, beautiful, and historic prints. Pageant Print Shop is unique in its extensive, high quality, and affordable selection. Rodger affirmed that “It’s going to be hard for you to find someone who has this kind of a collection at these kinds of prices - it’s just true.”

Lost Gem
C.G. Jung Center 1 Community Centers Libraries Bookstores Psychologists Non Profit Organizations Murray Hill

C.G. Jung Center

A psychological and cultural resource center combining a bookstore, libraries, training institutes, and continuing education, the C.G. Jung Center serves as a fulcrum for all things Jungian in midtown Manhattan. An air of learnedness wafts throughout the premises, awash in the smell of old books and older dreams. Carl Jung's wide-reaching areas of interest wind their ways through our unconscious, through dreams and myths and memories, and all are represented in the literature available here. The bookstore downstairs has readings on these and more from authors Jungian and otherwise, but the real treasure is the library on the fourth floor. We stopped in and chatted with Robin, a psychoanalyst-in-training who waxed historical on Jung's break with contemporary academics and with Freud, symbols, myths, and newer-age psychoanalytical practices. One of our writers, a once and future psychology student, spent quite a bit of time perusing the literary offerings, happily flipping through tomes from "The Presence of Siva," to "Existential Psychotherapy" to "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" and "Psychopathia Sexualis." The reading room is carpeted with a large, worn, oriental rug and furnished with colorful squishy seating. Chairs sit in a pleasantly haphazard arrangement around a wooden table, giving the impression that the ghosts of scholars remembered and forgotten were sitting in the room reading just before browsers arrived. Certainly, they have not strayed far from this house of learning.

Lost Gem
Choices Books & Gift Shop 1 Novelty Bookstores Uptown East Upper East Side

Choices Books & Gift Shop

Choices tries to help anyone looking to improve his or her life while also offering different paths to recovery for its varied clientele. Jay DePaolo discovered Choices Books & Gifts shortly after it was sold by the original owners, a doctor and a nurse, who opened the store in 1989 to help the 12-step community. Jay came in while shopping with a friend, who said, “Wouldn’t it be great to own something this cute and adorable?” Unfortunately, or fortunately for Jay, the new management was having trouble keeping the business afloat and wanted to sell. Jay’s friend set up a meeting. Jay did not have the finances to purchase Choices, but he had a clear vision for the store and was a savvy businessman, having owned Italian restaurants in the past. Miraculously, he met a potential investor, and after knowing Jay for only a day, the man loaned him the money to take over Choices in 2002. Within two years, Jay was pleased to tell me that he managed to bring the store back from the brink of failure.When I asked Jay what some of the immediate changes that he made were, he said it was as simple as moving some of the merchandise around, allowing the space to feel more airy and welcoming, rather than cluttered and claustrophobic. He also added an online side to the business. Arguably the biggest change was that Choices became less focused on the 12-step and therapy world, and more broadly applicable to “anyone who’s on a quest.”  Jay added, “We’re all in search of something.”I recognized Jay's commitment to his bookshop immediately and the extreme fulfillment he gets from the business. He told me that people continually stop by to share their appreciation and offer comments like “I want to thank you, you saved my little brother’s/cousin’s/sister’s life.” Choices is not just a retail store: the staff chats with any customer who needs advice or a willing ear and attempts to help them on the road to recovery. In 2016, some fourteen years after Jay took over the shop, he is now able to speak at length about different methods and tools that people can use to better themselves. He was quick to point out, however, that he was not always so knowledgeable. He said that he had entered the business essentially blind and had to learn about it from within. Most of his education came from his suppliers who willingly told him about the purpose of each product. And he continues to learn from customers by talking to them about books they have purchased in the past and what paths have worked for them. “I owe everything to others,” he admitted.“Most of the stuff in here has a meaning,” Jay went on to say, rattling off the names of jewelry and candles, which he now knows by heart. The shelves are chock full of books for both people in addiction programs and “civilians” - the word for people not directly affected by addiction. He has everything from general daily readers filled with affirmations to crystals and tarot cards used by a more select group. Some of his staff offer different sorts of readings to customers who request them as another aid in their personal therapy.“It really is a little treasure,” Jay said after walking me through the store. He spoke to me about what a pleasure it is to come to Choices everyday, saying, “I skip to work!” As I was leaving, Jay shared one of his favorite ideas to live by: “Serenity isn’t peace from the storm, but amid the storm.” It was an apt expression for a calm little store in a bustling city.

Lost Gem
Book Culture 1 Bookstores Morningside Heights

Book Culture

There is no question that the independent bookstores of New York are disappearing, which is why I am always thrilled to come across one that is thriving. Book Culture was originally founded as Labyrinth Books in 1997 by Book Culture's current owner, Chris, and Cliff, his partner at the time. Chris' career had begun in the 1980s when he started selling books for Papyrus Bookstore. He also worked at the old Book Forum, located across the street from Columbia, and at Great Jones Books. In 2007, Book Culture broke off from Labyrinth Books. Two new locations opened in Morningside Heights and the Upper West Side in 2009 and 2014. In 2010, Annie Hendricks joined Chris as a co-owner.I spoke with Cody, who became the store manager at 112th Street in 2013. He explained that the real estate is owned by Columbia, and so the shop sees a lot of college students, especially in the early autumn months. Book Culture's customer base, however, is varied: after all, he pointed out, the Upper West Side has not really had an independent bookstore since Endicott Books closed in 1995. Book Culture carries a wide variety of subject matter including English, anthropology, history, philosophy, and sociology.Despite how many independent bookstores have been lost, Cody has optimistically seen a trend over the last four years, which he called "a natural renaissance of independent booksellers." He noted that chain stores are not sustainable in the literary world, since people "want bookstores to be tied to the communities." Cody acknowledged that Book Culture has tried to fulfill its role as a community center by offering events, such as family outings and bagel breakfasts. He then went on to say that since Book Culture takes care to cater to the neighborhood, the store "oftentimes offers a better curated selection" than one's average Barnes and Noble. "In many ways it's more than just a bookstore. It's a great place to spend a couple hours."Cody has noticed a few other recent trends. The store, he told me excitedly, had become increasingly busier. He has noticed that there has been a "return to fiction" with specifically a "growing interest in translated works." In response, Book Culture's literature section has expanded. Customers are encouraged to spend time figuring out what interests them. He then stated, "It's rare that someone doesn't leave with a book or at least a good idea of what they'd like to read next."

Lost Gem
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center 1 Meditation Centers Yoga Bookstores Chelsea

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center

Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center functions as a community center rather than simply a yoga studio, making for a very special experience. It is run entirely by volunteers, some of whom reside upstairs. Aside from regular yoga and meditation classes, there are often workshops, talks, vegetarian cooking classes and group meals. The aim is to teach the ways of yoga as a healthy lifestyle, not just an exercise routine. The followers of Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center live by five simple guidelines: proper exercise, breathing, relaxation, a vegetarian diet, meditation and positive thinking. Sivananda Yoga is a global movement with centers all over the United States and the world. We talked to a woman who had recently completed a certification program in California and returned home to New York to volunteer at the Sivananda Center. She went by the name Jayanti – a name given to her at the yoga school. Jayanti shared the history of the Sivananda Yoga movement, which began in India under Swami (meaning master) Sivananda, who then sent Swami Vishnu-Devananda to the United States to spread the knowledge of Yoga with the words “The West is waiting for us.” The Center has been in New York since 1959, and in this specific location since 1964. Simply listening to Jayanti calmly tell us the story of this community that she felt so attached to, and this way of life that she found so rewarding, we could not help but be drawn in by her air of content. Getting to know a bit about this niche community in Manhattan was certainly a highlight for us while walking 24th Street.

Showing 1–12 of 37 results