Book Row
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Book Row

Book Row was a district in New York City from the 1890s to the 1960s composed of six city blocks which, at its peak, contained over three dozen bookstores.[1][2][3] Many - if not most - of the places were used bookstores.[4] In its heyday, Book Row spanned the stretch of Park Avenue between Union Square and Astor Place.[5][6] Other names for it included "Booksellers' Row" and "Second-Hand Row."[7][8]

By the 1960s, skyrocketing rents had forced most of the bookstores to move or close.[9][10] Apartments replaced most of the former storefronts.[10][11] Another factor contributing to Book Row's decline was the retirements and/or deaths of the stores' original owners.[12][13] By 1984, just two stores remained on Fourth Avenue.[12] The only bookstore from Book Row that survives today is the Strand Bookstore, which moved away in 1957 due to major rent increases.[4][14]

Book Stores



  1. ^ "Book Row Is Gone, But Used Bookshops Aren't". The New York Times. March 13, 1988. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ Nilsson, Jeff (April 23, 2011). "The Bibliomaniacs of Book Row". The Saturday Evening Post. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ Fishbein, Rebecca (June 8, 2017). "A Brief History Of The Strand, As The Legendary Bookstore Turns 90". Gothamist. Archived from the original on March 6, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ a b Geier, Stephanie (August 26, 2015). "4th Avenue: The History of NYC's Lost "Book Row"". Untapped Cities. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ Conroy, J. Oliver (March 4, 2019). "Why are New York's bookstores disappearing?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ Hauser, Micah (February 25, 2019). "Is the Strand a Landmark?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^ "Booksellers' Row, New York". The Publishers' Weekly. April 28, 1917.
  8. ^ "Pay Cut Starts City's 1st Strike In a Book Store". New York Herald Tribune. April 1, 1933. p. 6.
  9. ^ McDade, p. 179.
  10. ^ a b Phillips, McCandlish (September 30, 1969). "Dealers on Book Row Fear Rent Rises Will End an Era". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ Nielsen, John (May 31, 1981). "Old Bookstores: A Chapter Ends". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019.
  12. ^ a b Shepard, Richard F. (April 27, 1984). "Survivors of Book Row". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ Shepard, Richard F. (May 9, 1989). "Vestige of Book Row: Ex-Owner on Sidewalk". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019. Other booksellers grew old and vanished.
  14. ^ DeKok, Elizabeth (February 15, 2015). "The Strand and Book Row: A History". Unpacking the Bookstore. Retrieved 2019.


Coordinates: 40°44?00?N 73°59?28?W / 40.7332°N 73.9910°W / 40.7332; -73.9910

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