The Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is where I go to find a great selection of secondhand books. This bookstore is part of Housing Works, an organization that supports people living with and affected by HIV-/AIDS. The bookstore is staffed by volunteers and the entire stock has been donated by generous New Yorkers, so 100% of the sales go to Housing Works’ lifesaving services! If you are looking for a true city experience, this is it: New Yorkers helping New Yorkers.
The bookstore is beautiful. Dark wooden shelves line the walls, and winding staircases lead to the upper level. (It’s no surprise that the bookstore serves as a wedding venue nearly every weekend!) The bookstore is really well organized with genres clearly labeled. No need to dig for the books! I love to browse and am often surprised by the books that catch my eye!
In the back, a spacious seating area surrounds the small cafe. At the cafe, you can order from a selection of coffee, tea, beer, and wine. Food-wise, they offer salads, sandwiches, soups and pastries. Tables upstairs and downstairs make excellent places to read and relax.
On its own, the bookstore is beautiful and a great place for any book-lover. But the fact that all the proceeds go towards charity makes it even more wonderful!