Even before I lived in NYC, The Strand was a mandatory stop on every trip. Now I’m lucky enough to live and work close enough to make this place and its 18 miles of books a regular hangout. When work is slow, I like to walk the single avenue that separates us and spend an hour surrounded by the smell of books, flipping through poems and letting the winding aisles draw me further into the paperback fantasyland.
Aside from any book you can imagine, The Strand carries tons of badass little tchotchkes. I love perusing the wall of pins, stickers and socks (I got my famous velociraptor socks there!). When I need a birthday card or thank you note, I’ve stopped going the generic Hallmark route because the selection of adorable indie-made greeting cards makes for a much more unique and thoughtful sentiment. My bullet journal is full of funky stickers. And you’re not a New Yorker unless you have at least one of their iconic tote bags.
Unfortunately, I can’t go in without spending at least $50. There are Moleskines as far as the eye can see! New poetry! I almost always end up picking up a staff recommendation. There’s a center cube of shelves full of staff picks, each with a photo of the employee and a handwritten reason why they love the book. They’re always an irresistible sell.
It’s a great spot for celebrity sightings. They almost always have brilliant speakers, signings and events. Since April is National Poetry Month, they created the Poet-a-day Project. They build a little booth and have a new poet, every day of April in a “micro-residency” to get inspiration from the stacks and maybe write poems for passersby. This is one of my life goals!
Fortunately, you can also sell your books back for some lunch money. Since my love of books is huge and my physical space is limited, I have a rule that for every book I buy, I have to sell or give one away. AND since I live and work so close, this cycle is endless.
If you want a random book from my collection sent to you, leave a comment or shoot me a DM.