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New York Bookstores: McNally Jackson

2011 May 17

New York is home to some truly great bookstores, so I thought it would be fun to visit a few of them and profile them on the blog. The first of the series is McNally Jackson, a book store located in the heart of SoHo, on Prince Street. 

I think the mark of a truly great bookstore is when you get lost in it, feel the compulsive need to read every book on the front tables, and want to keep coming back every week. McNally Jackson is one of those stores.

SoHo is one of the best places to window shop in the city, and the windows of McNally Jackson are no exception. The windows hold rows of books, some of which are best sellers you’ve seen everywhere, and some you’re seeing for the first time. Either way, the displays are inviting.

The store is two floors, with a busy cafe near the entrance. The fiction is divided by geography–something I’ve never seen in another book store. It’s an innovative way to look at literature, a way to learn more about your favorite writers and novels.

Beyond the impressive fiction selection, the store also boasts sections on travel, fashion, poetry, and non-fiction, as well as hand-selected staff picks and an Espresso book machine.

McJ is a great place to escape the trendy and expensive SoHo shops and lose yourself for an afternoon. I walked out on Friday with two mini-Moleskine notebooks to keep in my purse and a book on writing to give myself a kick in the pants on that front.

What do you love about your favorite bookstore?

3 Responses Post a comment
  1. May 17, 2011

    I just passed this store for like the 16th time the other day, and I still haven’t had a chance to stop in! It looks like I’ll have to soon. What IS that book in your front-windows photo with the dapper gentleman’s suit on the cover? I can’t make out the title. But it looks so cool.

  2. May 17, 2011

    I’m sorry I missed it last time I was in NYC, although I made a special effort to get to the Strand.

    I love Daedelus books in Charlottesville, VA, which is a used book store. It’s an old house converted to a store and it is crammed with books from basement to attic. For new books, I like Talking Leaves on Elmwood Ave. in Buffalo, NY.

  3. May 19, 2011

    Okay, and now you’re profiling BOOKSTORES IN NYC? No fair, now you’re REALLY making me want to live there.

    Someday you’ll have to make it out to Portland just to visit Powell’s. It’s an amazing experience. My favorite part is, somewhat unshockingly, the kid’s section. They have a section full of every Newbery Award or honor ever and I have to visit it every time I’m there.

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