Bolstered by the recent grand reopening of New York City’s legendary Rizzoli Bookstore, resident readers of 88 & 90 Lex will find no shortage of great bookshops near their new condos. Here’s a look at that legendary bookstore’s fresh start, as well as two other nearby institutions that are ideal for insatiable readers and collectors of rare and antique tomes alike.
Rizzoli Bookstore | 1133 Broadway
It’s known as the most beautiful bookstore in New York, and a visit to Rizzoli will soon show you why. Set inside a six-story Broadway townhouse, Rizzoli is a veritable palace for any bookworm. An arched Diocletian window draws you in and, once inside, you’ll find yourself walking along a black and white marble floor beneath stately cast iron chandeliers and an ornately vaulted ceiling. Cherub-filled frescoes even line the store’s perimeter. If all that’s not enough to make you feel as though you’ve arrived in book heaven, Rizzoli’s selection of titles surely will. Illustrated books are the specialty here, with fashion, interior design, art, architecture, photography, and general design all well represented. The expansive collection also includes books on languages as well as magazines and newspapers from all over the world. With more than 50 years of history, Rizzoli isn’t just an NYC institution—it’s an adventure every time you visit.
B&B Rare Books | 30 East 20th Street
Step into the world of B&B Rare Books, where it feels as though the eReader was never invented. Antique, hardback volumes are the name of the game here, with a particular focus on American literature, modern first editions, Victorian literature, poetry, mystery, and detective fiction. Treat a loved one to a 1906 copy of The Poems of Thomas Love Peacock, or go all out with a first edition of Ian Fleming’s Diamonds are Forever, original dust jacket and all. There’s also a wonderful selection of children’s literature full of enticing gift ideas for young family members. Joshua Mann and Sunday Steinkirchner, the book-loving store owners, will add the personal touch of a neighborhood bookshop by pointing you in the direction of your next favorite read.
Potterton Books | 200 Lexington Avenue
Looking for décor inspiration for your new condo? Head to the fourth floor of the New York Design Center, and Potterton Books will provide all the muse you need. This compact, expertly curated bookstore is stocked with titles on textiles and furniture, period styles, and landscape designs. Handsome, lushly illustrated books such as Nicky Haslam: A Designer’s Life; Jeffrey Bilhuber: American Master; The Givenchy Style; and Swarovski: Fashion, Performance, Jewelry and Designmake for coffee table books you’ll delight in poring over for decades. As a special treat for yourself or for a very good friend, we recommend the set of six diaries penned between 1922 and 1974 by the great photographer, interior designer, and gadabout Cecil Beaton. Now there was a man who never wanted for inspiration.
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