Bookish Road Trip – Strand Bookstore, New York, NY

Last year, when we first started Thrice Read, Jenn went on a road trip and had and opportunity to check out several really exciting and well known book stores in the country.

This time though, it’s not Jenn doing the bookish road trip post, it’s me.

I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days in New York this week and what kind of book blogger would I have been if I didn’t make it to the infamous Strand bookstore.


The Strand 1

Let’s start with the size of Strand. To call it large would be a total and complete understatement. Strand is massive. It’s three stories — basement, ground level and second floor — and books fill nearly every space. It’s a book hoarder’s dream and I’m almost positive that even the most obscure books can be found here.

Once you get used to the size of the store and the number of books in it — its slogan isn’t “18 miles of books” for nothing — you can browse books on tables that are labeled with various “genres”. Things like, “Books of the Future” and “Unknown and Upcoming” are some of the book displays that Strand puts out for it’s costumers.

One table that really caught my attention was the “Suggested Strand Reads”, which had not one but two V.E. Schwab books. Not to mention Ibi Zoboi’s American Street was on display and it was a beautiful reminder that bookstores like Strand are helping propel unknown and growing authors.

If you’re not into the table displays you can always find something in the stacks like the one in the photo below. The number of variety in Pride and Prejudice cover options was vast and basically there was an entire wall of Jane Austen novels because this store literally offers every book you could imagine.

Something really impressive with Strand is that the prices on books there are actually better than a typical chain bookstores cost. I found many books that I’ve had on my TBR for a while now that I hadn’t gotten around to purchasing for below the original sale price.

Also, Strand is not just a new bookstore, it’s also a used bookstore and I didn’t see a single book that was less than gently used. I’ve always shied away from buying used books because I don’t exactly trust the quality, but Strand’s standards are so high when it comes to taking in new used books that I would have thought twice about buying a used book from them.

All in all, I was incredibly impressed with Strand. It was really cool to see so many books in a place that wasn’t a library and to also see so many people there that were just as passionate about books as I am.
The Strand 2

Have you been to Strand? What did you love/hate about it? If not, does this sound like a store you would enjoy?

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28 thoughts on “Bookish Road Trip – Strand Bookstore, New York, NY

  1. The Strand was home base for me when I lived in New York. It’s one of those places that absolutely lives up to the hype! Their table displays are amazing, they were always my first stop because I could discover so many amazing new books and authors all in one spot! I also loved their collection of classics — you could always find a cool, old edition on those shelves.

    The only thing about the Strand is that it’s not the best place to go when you’re looking for something super specific. It’s an incredible place to browse though! If I needed a book I’d look there first and if I couldn’t find it would hop over to the huge Barnes and Noble in Union Square.

    You’re making me all nostalgic now!

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    1. It’s been really cool to hear peoples stories about going to the Strand! And I can totally understand that. I saw the Barnes and Nobles in Union Square and never had an opportunity to go in. I spent so much time in the Strand that once I got out my boyfriend was dragging me as far away from it as fast as he could. 🙂

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  2. I went to The Strand for the first time last October while visiting NYC and freaking lost it. I would have spent the whole afternoon there, but my mother reminded me I couldn’t fit 20+ books in my suitcase lol! I ended up leaving with 2 books and a pair of dueling shot glasses featuring Hamilton and Burr. =D

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    1. Haha, that sounds exactly like me! My boyfriend was such a trooper because I dragged him through every inch of the store. I got some really great totes for myself and Caitlynn. I ended up grabbing Jenn two coffee mugs because she’s obsessed with all things coffee.

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  3. So good to read that you had a great time at Strand!! It’s basically where I spend half my time in NYC. (There’s also a secret third floor that’s only accessed by elevator. It has rare books and creaky floors, and not many people know about it, so it’s something to check out whenever you make it back next.)

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  4. I was there once years ago and I remember getting some good deals on books! But I haven’t been to properly browse in a while. I would probably get overwhelmed by the crowds and the sheer number of books!

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    1. The crowds ARE really overwhelming in there. That was one thing that I struggled with. I’m not from a big city like New York so anytime we were crowded into an area I found that I was quite nervous.

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      1. The good thing is that they have a website so you can reserve books and pick them up! My friend wanted a book by Faye Dunaway that was out of print and we were meeting in New York to see Allison Janney in her play. I came in early and picked it up for her since they only had one copy. That I could deal with! If you are ever in NYC again you should check out McNally Jackson! All the books are arranged by author’s country of origin! So instead of Fiction A-Z it’s all subdivided into American, England, Russian, Africa, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands etc.

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  5. I usually go to the Strand twice a year because I also live close to NYC. Once right after Christmas to spend Christmas money, and once around my birthday month in July to spend Birthday money. I was supposed to go on my actual birthday, July 6th, this year, but I didn’t get to go sadly. However, I plan to go sometime this month. It’s so amazing there, I got a book that was the regular non-advanced reader copy before it came out once. Technically it was out, but I got the paperback version for about 3 bucks about 2 weeks before it went up on Amazon!

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  6. We are making plans to go to NYC next year for my 30th birthday – I was born in Manhattan! I was also born prematurely, so I want to go back to the hospital and visit. The Strand is absolutely on my list! My husband has never been, so I can’t wait to show him so many things.

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