Join Us: The First Annual Millions Walking Tour of NYC Indie Book Stores

March 25, 2009 | 6 2 min read

Please see our updated itinerary

One of the supreme pleasures of reading is the way adventures begun on the page – or on the screen – take on a life of their own. Since posting our revised and expanded “Walking Tour of New York’s Independent Bookstores” last week, we’ve been overwhelmed by great feedback. Now, the siren call of an afternoon of leisurely urban hiking having proven too enticing to resist, we’ve decided to make our hypothetical tour a reality. This May, we’re going to convene the First Annual Millions Walking Tour of New York’s Independent Book Stores. Notwithstanding the tough environment facing indies, we’ll get a chance to celebrate some of New York’s best, to explore what keeps them vital – and to hang out with fellow readers.

The details:

Time and date: Saturday, May 2nd, 11am (rain date Sunday May 3rd, 11am).


While our online tour features 11 stops, for our first attempt in person, we’ve decided to shorten it to a more manageable six stops (and an approximate total distance of 4.5 miles).

At 11am, we’ll meet at Three Lives (154 West 10th Street at Waverly Place)

From there we’ll venture to Housing Works Used Book Cafe (126 Crosby St. between Prince and Houston), where we’ll try to snag some sort of coffee and snack special for those who like to nosh while they browse.

Then it’s around the corner to McNally Jackson (52 Prince St. between Mulberry and Lafayette).

Then a few blocks to Bluestockings (172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington)

The next leg, taking us over the bridge to Brooklyn and to BookCourt (163 Court St. between Pacific and Dean) will be by far the longest (about 3 miles).

And we’ll wrap things up at Freebird Books & Goods (123 Columbia St. between Kane & Degraw), which will host a little backyard party with beer and refreshments.

With about a half hour at each stop, we anticipate that the whole tour will take three or four hours. We hope that you will join us. Anyone can just show up and come along, but if you RSVP to, we’ll be able to alert you if we need to postpone due to weather. The whole thing is going to be informal – no tour bus, no red umbrella – and if you want to try to catch up with us partway through, you are welcome to, but the only way to be sure to be with the group is to show up at Three Lives at 11am.

Garth and Max will be leading the jaunt and we’ll likely be joined by one or two other Millions regulars. Please join us! If all goes well, perhaps we’ll reassemble in 2010 for another tour, focusing on the uptown venues we’ll be neglecting this time around.

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.


  1. Sounds fun but what a pity not to include two great Chelsea/Flatiron stores that are also nearby: the lovely 192 Books and the fabulous new Idlewild Books near Union Square. Like Three Lives, Bluestockings and Freebird (and unlike some of the other stores on your tour) they are very unique stores, with really unusual events, that are also very New York.

  2. Before we get a whole bunch of comments asking why we aren't visiting various stores, please be aware that (as with our earlier tour post), as much as we would like to hit every book store in the five boroughs, there are only so many we can visit in a given day on foot.

    On the other hand, if you simply want to let us know – regardless of our chosen tour stops – about a great bookstore, by all means please do so and consider adding it to our Collaborative Atlas of Book Stores and Literary Places.

  3. Oh, I hope you'll decide to do this again next year. It sounds great, but I won't be able to make this event. I wish you all a great afternoon!

  4. Wish I could join you, but I'm on the other side of the continent in Seattle. We've got a number of excellent bookstores here, of course, but is there any place other than New York where one can visit six (or more) good indie bookstores on foot within just a few hours? Not in the US, I don't think.

  5. Thanks for this! I'll be back in NYC in a few weeks for Book Expo America, and I hope to hit up as many indie stores as I can find.

  6. Would have loved to join this, but alas I was late for the party… Every year on vacation I try and make my way to NYC to go bookshop exploring… Next week I'm going and am so glad I found your list of Indies!

    Thank you!
    I will probably share this with the readers of my book blog too!

    Chick with Books

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