Explore These 10 Women-Run NYC Bookstores
In a city that has over 2,000 independent bookstores, it is seemingly impossible to visit them all. In our continuation of spotlighting women-owned businesses, here are some of the incredible women-owned bookstores across New York City that you can visit, in search of your next great read.
Sister’s Uptown Bookstore
Owned by Janifer P. Wilson and located in Washington Heights, this community resource center presents works of African American authors as well as other all-time writers and intel- lectuals. They embody their motto “knowledge is key” by providing a welcoming and educa- tional environment to Washington Heights’s diverse community.
Founded by Lexi Beach, this Queens community bookstore carries various works from local authors and hosts many neighborhood events which include author readings and signings, book clubs, writing workshops, and children’s story time.
The Lit Bar
Founded by Noëlle Santos in 2019, this Bronx hotspot is the only independent bookstore in the entire borough. While Lit Bar has a wide variety of classic works, the Bronx establish- ment is better known for its trendy wine bar and hosting live music performances.
Yu and Me Books
Tightly tucked away on the highly-energetic Mulberry Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Yu and Me Books is a book store that doubles as a cafe and bar and focuses on written works of immigrant sto- ries. Opened by Lucy Yu in 2021 as NYC’s first Asian American women-owned bookstore, Yu and Me Books strives to be a community space in which everyone feels welcome and heard.
Cafe Con Libros
Owner Kalima DeSuze describes Cafe Con Libros (cofeee with books) as an “intersectional bookstore”. This description is perfectly appropriate given this Brooklyn located bookstore is filled with an abundance of works that cover topics of the convergence between people of color and feminism. Cafe Con Libros offers a variety of books written by Black Feminist au- thors, as well as a cafe with a selection of coffee and baked goods.
Sweet Pickle Books
Founded by Leigh Altshuler, this Lower East Side bookstore focuses on representing the Jewish history of the neighborhood which was once called the “Pickle District”. At Sweet Pickle Books, customers are allowed to trade in their old books and records for one of the bookstores craft jar of pickles.
With four locations in NYC, two in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn, Mcnally Jackson is a New York City staple bookstore. Founded by Sarah McNally, this bookstore is known for its extensive selection of books covering all genres and their in-house printing press.
Kew and Willow Books
Kew and Willow Books is a crowdfunded, women owned bookstore in Queens that offers a wide variety of classic works as well as events such as open mic night, game night, and book readings and signings.
Imperial Fine Books
Established in 1989 by Bibi Mohamed, Imperial Fine Books is one of NYC’s best and long- est standing locations for collectible leather-bound books. For almost 35 years, Bibi and her staff have worked closely with designers to create custom collections of rare works as well as to curate entire libraries.
Everything Goes Book Cafe
Owned by Katie McCarthy, Everything Goes Book Cafe is Staten Island’s only second hand bookstore. They have a wide selection of books that spans their entire three-room space. The Staten Island bookstore also sells a variety of cafe drinks and baked goods.