What do you look for in a bookshop? A beautifully curated fiction section? Space to sit down and read in-store? Coffee on hand to fuel your perusal? Events that allow you to meet the writers behind your favorite works? McNally Jackson ticks all of those boxes and more.
This bright Nolita shop is always bustling and yet remains wonderfully peaceful; it comes without the tourist-filled stress that you might find at another favorite of New York book-lovers, Strand Bookstore. A café enables you to extend your stay: what bookworm doesn’t crave a pot of Earl Grey tea and a muffin midway through a purchase? And the literature is organized geographically, a refreshing approach.
While both the two floors of books and the beautiful stationery selection are big attractions, the Espresso Book Machine is an added bonus. It enables you to print and bind self-published creations or e-books: give it your words and, as if by magic, it will turn them into a beautiful book of your own.
On a rainy weekend you’ll find me curled up in the cookery section, flicking through the latest releases, reading chapters from Ruth Reichl’s memoirs and inevitably leaving the shop with a stack of books much higher than I had anticipated buying.
McNally Jackson, 52 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012.
Photo: Touchstone Books.