Skip to main content


February 28, 2012

Bookstore Tour: Book Culture, New York

Posted by tbrmaureen

Book Culture
Location: 536 West 112th Street (Between Broadway & Amsterdam) and 2915 Broadway (at 114th), New York, NY
Founded: 1997

I recently paid a visit to Book Culture on Broadway, the newer branch of the original store on West 112th. Over the summer I took a course at Columbia, and I frequently stopped into Book Culture to browse during time off or late at night (the store is open until 11 pm on weeknights!). It is still one of my favorite bookstores in the city. The store on 112th, which I have also been to, is larger, and the upstairs is dedicated to textbooks that the store provides for Columbia students and professors. The new branch, on Broadway, opened in 2009.

Mood: Book Culture on Broadway has a laid-back, friendly feel. There is an extensive display of books on a number of tables throughout the store, and there is a bright, cheerful vibe created by the various other merchandise that they carry. Slightly creaky wood floors and warm, personable staff add to its indie feel. Perhaps because of its proximity to Columbia and its location in Morningside Heights, it has a young, cool feel to it.

 5 Things That Caught My Eye: 

  • Colorful scooters adorn the walls near the entrance, surrounded by bright backpacks and maps hanging along the ceiling.
  • Two large, old-fashioned clocks hang on either side of the door as well   
  • A number of greeting cards, magazines, and merchandise such as mugs, picture frames, journals, scarves, tea, and coffee are placed throughout the store amongst the books.
  • There is an extensive Mystery section that includes four entire shelves --- probably around a quarter of the store’s total shelf space.
  • The store often has discounts on a large number of books, including many new releases.

I talked to two of the stores employees, and they recommended these three books for twentysomethings:

  • THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern
  • FLAME ALPHABET by Ben Marcus
  • PLENTY by Diana Henry (cookbook)  

They also told me these fun facts about the store:

  • They used to be called Labyrinth Books
  • The 112th Street location was originally built for the Post Office
  • The Broadway location has been an independent bookstore (with various different owners) for over 50 years.
  • The Broadway location hosts weekly French, German, Spanish and English storytimes. They also carry children’s books in all of these languages.  
  • The 112th Street location often has author talks, wine and cheese events, and breakfasts. Check out the full events calendar here!