Whenever my Brooklyn Mamma visits Manhattan, we always make a trip to her old stomping grounds in Soho. Somehow my mother has never made it to one of my favorite bookstores in the city, Housing Works. As part of a larger non-profit organization to assist those living with HIV/AIDS, all of the proceeds of the bookstore go to this noble cause.
The used bookstore itself is beautiful. It has high ceilings with a second level and was most likely a former industrial space. In the back is a small cafe with tasty coffee and wine. All of the employees are volunteers and a pleasure to chat with. Once a month, they take 30% off store-wide and for the month of December, every day is 10% off.
Seriously, this bookstore has so many great finds. They have a HUGE literature section and have wonderfully organized their other sections like, history, psychology, horror, etc.
I made out with a couple of great finds (both paperbacks): Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson [$3] and a novel I’ve never heard of but stuck out to me because of the subject matter which I will gift to a friend, Orpheus Lost by Janette Turner Hospital [$7.50]. Also, as a congratulatory gift, my mother bought me an old book of German poetry from the 19th and early 20th Centuries for a $1 in honor of recent news about the translation project I am working on. My project sponsor has decided to send me back to Germany next year!
Housing Works is great to stroll around in for an hour or to meet a friend for coffee and a fresh knish. Once a year, they also have a marathon reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
126 Crosby Street, New York, NY