Bougie or Budget: The Bookstore Around the Corner


I’m slightly (only slightly) embarrassed to admit this, but one of my favorite movies of all time is Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan’s classic, You’ve Got Mail. What keeps me engaged goes far beyond their witty banter — it’s that it’s about what one of my favorite things: bookstores.

The plot showcases the two main characters who run diverse types of bookstores: one a mega-Disneyworld type (such as a Barnes & Noble), and the other a quaint bookstore — aptly namedThe Shop Around the Corner — with a focus on children’s books. While the experiences at each were night and day, what remained the same was the thoughtful and fulfilling time one can have while strolling through a bookstore.

New York City might be the best place in the world for said bookstore strolling; each neighborhood has bookstores that are unique to them. We do have large chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble, but even the behemoths of the industry provide thoughtful content and literary programming that every book lover can appreciate. The Barnes & Noble in Union Square, for example, always has a stellar line-up of authors who come to speak. Even the fast-tongued culinary bad boy Anthony Bourdain has signed a few books there in his day, among many others. Read on...