The Argosy Bookstore – oldest independent bookstore in NYC
I am always amazed while walking around NYC to find myself noticing stores and shops, well-known in the city for years, new to me. This along east 59th street, I noticed a bookstore that is one of those bookstores that when looking through their windows draws you inside.. The sign read that it was New York City’s oldest independent bookstore. As I entered, I felt myself thinking that I was traveling back in time by looking at well-preserved maps that are centuries old, and were once in the hands of people who lived in New York when Manhattan was mostly just downtown. It’s an opportunity to touch elegant engravings the likes of which you see in museums. Yes, your touch them and even buy them.
They specialize in old and rare books, including maps and lithographs and a selection of old autographs books and prints. Not into old books? This place may still offer little treasures to you… they sell old prints, maps, etc. You can even buy prints on pages from old books that have been chopped out.
I arrived later in the day so I only got to browse the main floor but they do have six floors but mostly only the second floor is open on a regular basis. On this floor is gallery of prints and maps.
This is such a wonderful and unassuming place in the middle of Midtown. I was allowed to take photographs and to spend as much time as needed to browse different collections. A visit will give you a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of the present.
I plan on returning so I can visit the upper floors. Also, I read that they have a basement filled with reasonably priced used books.