By Emily Hulbert
Attention all book lovers! Are you looking for a book store with a wide array of books, from rare collectibles to next bestsellers? How about a book store that not only sells books, but also sells “onesies” and other literary gifts and goods? If you answered yes to both of these questions, look no further because I have the place for you.
The Strand Bookstore, located in New York City at 828 Broadway 12th Street New York, is home to over 2.5 million used, new and rare books. The Strand has been a significant part of city life since 1927, when it was originally located on Fourth Avenue, otherwise known as “Book Row”. “Book Row” consisted of 6 city blocks which housed up to 48 bookstores. A young entrepreneur and avid reader, Ben Bass began working on his used bookstore at the age of twenty five. With only 600 dollars in his budget, Bass sought to create a place where the public could come and enjoy a good book. Everything about The Strand emphasizes a strong love for books, including the tittle. Ben Bass named the store after a street in London where writers from Charles Dickens to William Thackeray would congregate and thrive. Interested publishers would also travel to the Strand to look for a fresh new idea for a book. Eighty Six years later, The Strand is run by Bass’s son Fred and granddaughter Nancy. Together they co-manage the successful store where people can go to trade in a used book or find a hidden treasure amidst all the shelves.
Stepping inside the Strand is like stepping inside your home because all of the employees treat you like you are part of the Strand family. Have a question about a certain book? Have no fear! One of the best parts about the Strand is that it is filled with employees who are knowledgeable about books. They can even offer suggestions of other books you might be interested in trying if you give them your literary preferences. You can tell that the employees are passionate about the books by the way that they refer to each and every one as a treasure. Whether it is outside on one of the many carts or inside on one of the numerous shelves, each book is seen as a treasure ready to be discovered. The Strand has one of the largest and diverse book selections in the country sold at reasonable prices starting at only one dollar!
Not only does the book store sell books, but it also sells literary merchandise such as magnets, bags, and mugs. Examples of the type of merchandise that they sell are a magnet that says the definition of a bibliophile, a magnet that says “Book Hoarder and Proud of it”, a coffee mug that says “Give me coffee or give me death”, and a bag that looks like a composition notebook. The merchandise is very popular because it attracts book lovers with their witty sayings and artistic designs. The book store also holds discussions with up and coming authors about their new bestsellers. In the rare-books room, you can get comfortable as you listen and ask questions to your favorite authors. All you have to do to get in is either purchase the book or a gift card.
Check out The Strand next time you go to the city or go to www.strandbooks.com for more information on events, top book picks, or the Strand itself!