In a time when technology is at the point of suffocation, books appear to be a novelty and something from the past. I will admit that I fell victim to the 21st century. I loved my Kindle and had used iBooks on my iPad and iPhone.
Over winter break I picked up a book and forgot how much I love the feel of a book in my hands. I missed having to carefully turn a page instead of swipe and watch the spine bend as I made my way through the book.
After this reacquired love for a physical book, I knew that when I came back to the city, I had to go shopping.
A few weeks later, I did some googling, grabbed my friend and hopped on the subway.
The first bookstore we went to was Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. When you walk in it feels exactly how an old school quirky bookstore should feel. Spiral staircases on either side lead to the second floor of books, strings of lights crisscrossed above my head and jazz music filled the cozy space. The best thing about the bookstore is that is contribution based. Because all of the books are donated, 100% of the profits are given directly to Housing Works. Housing Works is an organization for people with HIV/AIDS and offers support as well as lifesaving services. While the books are not always the newest releases, the community is such a worthy cause and has some fabulous finds.
A short walk away is Strand Book Store. Strand is massive with four floors and overwhelmingly covered with thousands
and thousands of books. Every genre imaginable is in this bookstore. If you prefer small quite bookstores than Strand is not for you. But living in the city, it is almost a given that nothing is quiet or spacious. I couldn’t stop finding books that grabbed my eye and got to the point of being overwhelmed by so many options. This is truly a bookstore that fits the needs of any reader. Strand also has a lot of merchandise available such as posters, tote bags, t-shirts, and even quirky magnets.
I left both bookstores with my bag weighing a lot heavier than I had intended, but the excitement of all the books felt like Christmas morning. My friend and I found a nearby cafe, grabbed a cup of coffee each and sat transfixed in our new finds for hours.