Six other indie bookstores near BookCourt

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Court Street’s beloved BookCourt is shutting up shop at the end of the year, but don’t resign yourself to a lifetime of shopping at the Barnes and Noble down the street — there are plenty of other great independent bookstores within walking distance.

Greenlight Bookstore

Probably the closest local analog to BookCourt, Fort Greene’s neighborhood word emporium has knowledgeable staff who make great recommendations, lots of titles by neighborhood authors, and events most days of the week. Plus, the owners just opened a second outpost in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens — that isn’t walking distance from Cobble Hill, of course, we’re just saying: print’s not dead yet.

686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200,

Freebird Books

This cosy Columbia Street used bookstore specializes in titles about New York history and has a book club dedicated exclusively to post-apocalyptic novels and short stories.

123 Columbia St. near Kane Street in the Columbia Street Waterfront District, (718) 643–8484,

Mama Says Comics Rock

Cobble Hill’s newest comic store offers way more than the latest edition of “Batman” — although it also has that — including lots of high-brow graphic novels, indie comics from local artists, and a good mix of titles for young readers.

306 Court St. at Degraw Street in Cobble Hill, (718) 797–3464,

PowerHouse Arena

Art-book publisher PowerHouse sells its own tomes plus hip novels, non-fiction titles, and kids’ books at its Dumbo storefront (which it recently relocated to Adams and Water streets from its longtime digs a few blocks away). It is also a popular book-launch location for big-name scribes — in the next few months, you can catch writers from “The Daily Show,” the New York Times’ Frank Bruni, and rising star Alana Massey.

28 Adams St. at Water Street in Dumbo, (718) 666–3049,

Melville House Bookstore

Dumbo indie publisher Melville House has a small storefront hidden away on John Street where it peddles its own books alongside those from fellow Brooklyn publishing houses, including Akashic, Archipelago, Ugly Duckling, and Hanging Loose. The friend-who-has-it-all doesn’t have a copy of the last recorded interview with Oliver Sacks or the complete text of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision on marriage equality, believe us.

46 John St. at Jay Street in Dumbo,

Singularity & Co.

You never know what schlocky gem you’ll find at this specialist seller of vintage sci-fi, fantasy, and pulp paperbacks.

18 Bridge St. near John Street in Dumbo,

Updated 3:34 pm, December 6, 2016
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Reasonable discourse

Morris from Mill Basin says:
These are all wonderful bookstores, and I especially like a few of them, but Barnes & Noble is not so horrible that it needs to be demonized. When B&N closed their Bronx bookstore recently, it was a real loss because there was no other bookstores. B&N has closed many bookstores, too. People used to demonize Borders Books, too, and then they closed, leaving lots of places without bookstores.

The truth is that there are large parts of New York City that are virtual bookstore deserts that would welcome a Barnes & Noble if no independent bookstore opened: places like much of the Bronx and Staten Island, Rockaway, and southern Brooklyn.

Barnes & Noble started as a New York City bookstore and it is not as bad as people think.
Dec. 7, 2016, 11:42 am

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