Looking for independent bookstores in Brooklyn? Look no further.
If you are in the Brooklyn area, many exciting and lovely places sell good books that you can indulge yourself in.
You will find a list of incredible places that you could run to, and trust me, you will find unique books. I hope this helps you in your quest.
Best Bookstores In Brooklyn
1. Ben’s Books
Location: 145 Ainslie Street New York, NY 11211
This bookstore is not big, but it is a little space that is quiet and quaint. It is made of a single room where you will find pretty literature.
You will find book categories like arts, poetry, Sci-fi classics, essays, books on sexuality, and art history on the shelves.
The classical music played in the background gives the atmosphere a soothing and relaxing environment.
It is a small comfy place to go to if you are hoping to avoid places with large crowds. You can either pay a physical visit or log on to their website for more information.
2. McNally Johnson
Location: 445 Gold St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: +1 718-422-7780
If you are looking for one of the best-known independent bookstores in Brooklyn, McNally Johnson’s Books fit the description.
This bookstore is a collection of four other independent bookstores around Manhattan and Brooklyn.
This bookstore is like every other bookstore, but it has its charm that you can’t fail to notice. You will find new editions of exciting fiction, and one interesting thing is that they organize their books by region, making it easy for you to access them.
If you want a book whose author is from Europe, America, or Africa, you will be able to easily access them by just walking to the section set out for that region.
This might even be the best way for you to notice books from other places and pick interest in them.
3. Quimby’s Bookstore
Location: 536 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, New York, NY 11211
Phone: (718) 384-1215
Quimby’s bookstore has its peculiarity and unique personality, and it has this organized-mess vibes, quirky, Pop/Surrealism content, and selections for magazine skimmers. In addition, it has specific niche selections of non-fiction and liberal fiction.
You will find books on titles about punk rock, current affairs books categorized under sexuality, race, and NY interest.
In addition, you will find some out-law art on the shelf and little trinkets like mugs, enamel pins, and tote bags that you can purchase.
Quimby’s has an excellent aesthetic environment that makes you feel comfortable, and it’s a nice place to take pictures for memories.
There are no rules for this bookstore; the only rule is that they do not sell comics; this is left to their next-door neighbor’s Desert Island bookstore.
4. Spoonbill & Sugartown
Location: 218 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249
This is a wonderful bookstore in Williamsburg, and it has been in existence since 1999.
The bookstore contains various books from literature, contemporary art, philosophy, and different design fields. You will find new books as well as second-hand and rare books on display.
The bookstore has a beautiful aesthetic, and it feels homey and comfortable for anyone.
This bookstore is a Jack of all trade bookstore, and you will most probably find what you are looking for.
You will find books for people of all ages, and there are good selections for both old and young.
5. Book Thug Nation
Location: 100 N 3rd St Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: +1 917-673-2920
They have a wide selection of used books, and you can get these books at a low price without having to break the bank.
Book Thug Nation Bookstore focuses on film, philosophy, literary fiction, history, drama, poetry, graphic novels, foreign novels, erotica, art, and children’s books.
Apart from their exciting selection of books, they also organize regular events, including movie screenings, author reading, neighborhood meetings, lectures, kids’ night, and many more.
This bookstore has a retro and vintage atmosphere because of how the books are neatly arranged on the shelf.
It has been maintained for a good number of years, and they regularly update their stock.
There is always a book for every thinker and avid reader in Book Thug Nation. If you are in the Williamsburg area, you should probably visit them and get a book for yourself.
6. Books are Magic
Location: 225 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
It is cozy and comfortable, and this bookstore gives off all these vibes.
Books are Magic is a beautiful and comfortable bookstore that serves the community. It has a safe and calming environment where you can walk in with your kids.
The bookstore has a wide variety of books and authors, and it houses a lot of books from Brooklyn’s local authors.
They have an events calendar that makes it a busy spot for readings, talks, and exciting launch parties.
You will find new releases and classic books, and you will find great books for your children as well. The staff is friendly, and overall, it is a lovely bookstore.
7. Freebirds Books
Location: 123 Columbia Street Brooklyn, NY 11231
This is another excellent bookstore in Brooklyn where you can buy second-hand books at great prices.
It is a bookstore that specializes in New York culture and history. It is a community bookstore with a community-oriented mindset, and it sponsors events, book clubs, and readings.
They are open only during the weekends, which makes them different from other bookstores.
In addition, they sponsor a non-profit program that helps make the book accessible to prisoners around the country. The program is called “Books Through Bars.”
8. WORD Bookstore
Location: 126 Franklin St Brooklyn, NY 11222
They are a flexible business in the sense that they are whatever the community wants them to be.
You will find that the staff are lovely to interact with, and they often host events in the bookstore.
This is one of those few bookstores that close late; while most bookstores close around 6:00 pm, Word bookstores close by 9:00 pm.
The store is organized, making it easy to find any book that you are looking for.
Word has a great variety of non-fiction and fiction and a lot of books about New York. So, if you are interested in getting to know NY, this could be a good place for you to get some materials.
9. Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop
Location: 126 Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
If you are looking for a bookshop with a lot of creative art, you should patronize Berl,s Poetry Shop. Their collection celebrates art, performance, and creativity.
It is a bookstore for people of all ages, and they also sell chapbooks and poetry books.
Berl’s Poetry Shop is a gallery for books, a home for words, a place to meet poets, hear poets read, and join other readers in forming a reading community.
It is an intimate and creative space for those who love poetry. You will also find a limited edition of books and handmade books.
10. Unnameable Books
Location: 600 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238
Phone: (718) 789-1534
Unnameable books specialize in an eclectic collection of second-hand books and poetry. This bookstore is unique and intriguing and houses a wide variety of book genres.
The atmosphere within the bookstore is welcoming and warm, and you can stay until 11 pm.
It is one of those independent bookstores that has survived competition from big bookstore chains and the rising price of real estate in the area.
As a result, the used books are in good condition, and they go for reasonable prices. They also host talks, readings, and book launches from time to time. It is a lovely place to visit.
11. Desert Island
Location: 540 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn NY 11211
If you remember, we had mentioned earlier that this amazing bookstore is a neighbor to Quimby’s and has a fantastic collection of comics. So if you are a comic lover, this is the shop to run to when you are in Brooklyn.
They do not just sell superheroes comic; they also have some graphic novels and comics that could interest even those not into comic books.
In addition, they have a rich collection of comic books that are shipped from around the world and sold at this store.
They also have the original comics that they produce in the store, and it is not just any ordinary comic shop; this place is special and unique.
This bookstore also regularly hosts book signings, local artists and comic-book authors drop by to sign copies for customers.
This book store aims to celebrate writers, artists, and creative minds in the comic-book area. It would be fun to visit this place and see what it holds.
12. Greenlight Bookstore
Location 1: Fort Greene: 686 Fulton Street (at South Portland), Brooklyn, NY 11217
Location 2: Prospect Lefferts Gardens: 632 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225
Phone: (718) 246-0200
Greenlight Bookstore is an independent bookstore with two locations in the Brooklyn area.
This bookstore is a literary destination, and they have well-curated book selections, beautiful bookstore spaces, and host well-curated community events.
The bookstore is open and welcomes readers of every kind, and the atmosphere promotes a space for encounters and conversations about issues relevant to the community.
For example, they have hosted a book signing event for Hillary Clinton, and they are widely known in the Brooklyn area.
13. Community Bookstore
Location: 143 Seventh Avenue. Brooklyn, NY 11215
Phone: (718) 783-3075
This bookstore has been a great source of refuge for many people in the community. Although it has a wide range of books, it is also used to organize events and meetings. This bookstore was opened in 1971, and it has served a lot of book lovers in the community.
The community bookstore has a great and exciting selection of both new and classic books. The environment and atmosphere are friendly and warming, the site of the garden is breathtaking.
It caters to the needs of people of all ages, both kids and adults. There is always a book for everyone, and you can also purchase some puzzles and playing cards.
In addition, you can check out their calendar to find out the various events that they host.
14. The Center for Fiction
Location: 15 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Phone: (212) 755-6710
The sights and environment of this bookstore are fantastic and thrilling. Even if you did not plan on buying a book, you would be tempted to walk in and survey the building, and you might find yourself staying longer than you intended.
The bookstore is impressive, and it is spacious and houses thousands of books. It is a well-curated bookstore with many selections. You can access the books on the high shelves with the available ladders.
There is a café section surrounded by books on the wall where you can sip you’re your coffee or expresso and feel lost in the world of books and authors.
If you are a registered member, you will be given access to their second-floor library, which has a rich collection of 70,000 books.
The atmosphere here offers you a combination of modern and classic feel, which is comfortable, allowing you to concentrate on the book you have chosen, leaving the world behind.
You would not want to leave this bookstore in a hurry. There are plans to include an outdoor bar that can give you the liberty of reading and sipping your glass of wine at the same time.
There is a writer’s room secluded from the other reading area, which gives you the room to concentrate and be creative. You can also sign-up for their reading groups, discussions, and workshops.
15. Human Relations
Location: 1067 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237, USA
Phone: +1 (510) 540-7700
Human relations Bookstore is a second-hand used bookstore that sells various books and seeks to connect book readers.
You will find the best books in film, philosophy, fiction, History-Art, Foreign language, food, science, and Pulpy Noir.
They also have a collection of used records as well, so if you love vinyl, you need to check out their shop.
There is a $1 book cart that you could always check out outside the shop.
Location: 987 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Phone: (718) 418-9393
If you are fascinated with witchcraft and sorcery, you can visit this bookstore to explore its contents and collections.
This bookstore is not your typical bookstore, and it is a magical space that invites people to enhance their spiritual lives.
They sell books covering witchcraft and sorcery, and they also sell other things like local arts, oils, candles, incense, and tarot cards.
17. Terrace Books
Location: 242 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Phone: (718) 788-3475
Terrace books is a community bookstore and also belongs to the owners of Community Bookstore in Brooklyn.
It is stocked with well-curated books and has a range selection of books that you can pick from.
Although it is a small bookstore, it is neat, comfortable, and welcoming. They buy and sell used books, and they can help you order any book that is not in their collection. They have an interesting selection of books for people of different ages and interests.
They are still operating with the pandemic; all you have to do is go online, search through their book catalog and order a book for pick up.
Once the book is ready, you will be notified, and you can drop by the bookstore and comfortably pick up your book.
18. Melville Publishing House and Bookstore
Location: 46 John St., Brooklyn, NY 11201 USA
Melville House and Bookstore is an independent publishing house that began in 2001. This company has published many non-fiction and fiction books and is known for its re-discovery of forgotten writers and the discovery of first-time writers.
This bookstore has a reputation for being an activist press and political content that leans to the far left.
They are known for stocking their shelves with books from only independent presses. The Melville Bookstore is behind the Melville publishing house.
The bookstore also serves as an event place for meetings help by several independent presses.
If you want a cup of coffee while you enjoy the variety of books, you can get one from the coffee shop next door.
19. Café Con Libros
Location: 724 Prospect Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11216
This bookstore is a feminist community bookstore that creates a vibrant space where everyone is celebrated and affirmed, especially female-identified individuals.
This bookstore is welcoming, inclusive, intersectional, and supports all who promote the human rights of girls and women.
The bookstore hosts book clubs with the hopes that it would help in opening minds and hearts and enlightening people. You will find a rich array of books that are written for, by, and about women.
Plus, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and you can always have a cup of coffee when you feel like it.
20. Boulevard Books & Café
Location: 7518 13th Ave Brooklyn, NY 11228
Phone: (718) 680-5881
Boulevard is a community bookstore with a wide variety of books. The café section makes it more exciting and a place to be because you could always enjoy your cup of coffee while you read without having to go out of the bookstore.
The shop’s layout is impressive, and it is a lovely space for you to take your kids with you. In addition, they host a book club and author’s reading that you could join if you are interested. So it is a lovely place for book lovers.
21. Stories Bookshop + Storytelling Lab
Location: 458 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Phone: (718) 369-1167
This is a fabulous bookstore for children’s books ranging from the age of zero to young adulthood. There is also a section of books for parents where you can find some good books. They also have out-of-print and some fantastic vintage book collections.
If you are not interested in the books, you could try out their gifts to buy for your kids or those expecting childbirth. In addition, they sell art supplies, notebooks, pencils, and other tools for kids. The bookstore also hosts programs for kids during the weekends and summer holidays.
Many exciting bookstores can cater to your book needs while you are in Brooklyn. You will find many book selections and collections that will suit your taste.
In addition, most of these bookstores have a lovely environment that you can comfortably settle in while you enjoy your reading.