There are two perks to the worlds biggest book store – the discounted coffee table books and the fact you can amuse yourself for hours.

The Strand is quintessential New York.

As the loving home to 18 miles of books and book fanatics alike, this literary haven is a one stop shop for anything on the printed page.

Now if you are like me and your attention span has been shot to pieces after spending years watching MTV and clicking mindlessly through the internet looking for immediate satisfaction, then ‘reading’ isn’t for you. For everyone else who managed to keep some of their brain cells intact – then The Strand is a double whammy. But for those who prefer to be visually stimulated and could get lost in the pages of art, photography, design and fashion books for hours, then I have a little treat for you.


The most depressing part about being a college student in a city like New York, is that fact that for those who have money, it is a place rich in entertainment and beautiful things. For everyone else who is just trying to get by each day at a time, without being pushed out of a subway or yelled at in the street, New York just provides a world of temptation. A constantly encompassing environment of everything you want and everything you can’t have.

For me, good food and coffee table books are up there when it comes to priorities.

This may or may not officially deem me an 85 year old trapped in my body but that’s the way I operate.

Needless to stay, The Strand is also up there on the list of places that make me happy. Happy that is, until I face the reality that the books I just spent the last 5 hours with my nose buried in, will remain no more than a distant memory and have no chance of becoming part of my household collection.

Then I discovered The Strand’s best kept secret – the “Damaged Book Section” in the very back corner of the top floor. Here you will find a plethora of glorious art books, that have been deemed ‘un-sellable’ at full price and are discounted down to ridiculous prices that make you feel like you just made it in the world and did a one over on the recession. I’m talking major discounts here. This isn’t some petty 10% off Thanksgiving Weekend Macy’s sale. No, I’m talking about a $150 book with a pencil mark on the first page, now costing you $7. None of the books are actually damaged by normal people’s standards and you can find some really interesting stuff in amongst the books that no one wants. It allows you to have the satisfaction of walking down the street with that bright yellow bag, knowing that you, like millions of others, just bought back a little piece of New York. You leave with triple the amount of books for half the price. And for $7 you too, can feel like a real person again for that small moment of time.

The Strand also is a perfect place to hide/relax/entertain yourself/escape the weather when you first move to New York and don’t know anybody yet. When you are bored for hours on end and are sick of wandering around the city aimlessly trying to look like you have friends and aren’t scared to death, find a spot in       The Strand and escape to a literary fantasy land where you are warm and people are nice and care.

  1. THANKS for that damaged book section! I love the Strand and had no idea this existed! Will deffinitely be checking this out!

  2. ellinor says:

    I’ve never even been there! Thanks for the info, and drop by me too, soon.


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