French literary culture is the raison d’être for the Payne Whitney mansion’s bookstore. Operated by the French Embassy’s Cultural Services department, the shop contains more than 14,000 French and English titles by authors from 30 French-speaking countries. 972 Fifth Ave., at 79th St., 212.650.0070.
Amazon’s brick-and-mortar locations focus strongly on books, which are categorized by customer ratings and curators’ assessments. Gadgets, including the electronic personal assistant, Alexa, are also available. The Shops at Columbus Circle, 10 Columbus Cir., btw W. 58th & W. 60th sts.; 7 W. 34th St., btw Fifth & Sixth aves. Phone number for both locations: 206.266.2992.
BARNES & NOBLE
Thousands of titles are presented in a comfortable, bi-level setting suited for reading and browsing, with events, such as lectures by authors and storytelling hours for children, plus eBooks, CDs, DVDs and a café offering refreshments and coffee. 33 E. 17th St., btw Park Ave. So. &
Broadway, 212.253.0810; and several other NYC locations.
THE DRAMA BOOK SHOP
Founded in 1917 by the Drama League, this 5,000-square-foot shop keeps more than 8,000 plays in stock. Thousands of theater students and professionals and award-winning artists pass through the shop’s doors. The basement houses a 60-seat black-box theater. 250 W. 40th St., btw Seventh & Eighth aves., 212.944.0595.
A massive stock of graphic novels and DC, Marvel and Darkhouse comics—from mainstream to hard-to-find— plus games, DVDs and anime. 832 Broadway, btw E. 12th & E. 13th sts., 212.473.1576.
HOUSING WORKS BOOKSTORE CAFE
Peruse stacks of used books at this bookstore and café, where proceeds go directly to helping people living with HIV/AIDS. The venue also holds readings, comedy shows, podcast tapings and writing workshops. 126 Crosby St., btw Prince & E. Houston sts., 212.334.3324.
Thousands of graphic novels, trade paperbacks and back issues are offered at this retailer, which also carries paraphernalia and ships domestic free. 200 W. 40th St., btw Seventh & Eighth aves., 212.302.8192; and three other NYC locations.
A nonprofit bookstore offering a wide range of books, zines and objects—all written and designed by artists—as well as education services, publishing opportunities, fairs and other programming. 231 11th Ave., btw W. 25th & W. 26th sts., 212.925.0325.