Book Culture

Book Culture

Photo: Book Culture

Neighborhood: West 90s & Up
Type of Place: Books


With time to kill in the middle of this abominably hot summer we are having, I staggered into Book Culture the other day. I don’t spend a lot of time uptown, so I was a newbie to this independent shop, and I have inserted a mental bookmark to go back for more.

Bright and cheery (not dark and dank like a lot of other NYC indie bookshops), Book Culture carries a huge collection of titles dedicated to the arts and humanities as well as a juicy selection of scholarly books for both students and post-grads. Since the shop is located in close proximity to Columbia University, I had concerns about what the place was like during school hours and upon some casual research I learned it can be pretty berserk. That being said, I still intend to frequent Culture during off-peak textbook hours.

I was particularly impressed by this shop’s collection of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies titles as well as their trove of both academic and literary magazines and journals. Their Sociology section is also gigantic. Book Culture also carries a decent selection of fiction and poetry for the not-so-academic book seeker.

You’ll find new and used books (marked by school bus-yellow stickers) here and a decent collection of Dover Thrift Editions, less expensive academic titles for hungry Columbia kids and budget-savvy non-students alike. For really great deals, check out the super cheap “remainders” hanging out on the staircase.

Book Culture has a great Book Club program, too. After registering, you benefit from email blasts regarding new and exciting titles, a 20% off coupon for non-textbook goods and a membership card. The card keeps a tally of how much you’ve spent, and when you reach $200, the shop will gift you ten bucks in store credit. Not too shabby.

I checked out Book Culture’s website as a follow-up to my visit and was pleased to read a Cicero quote there: “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” True that.

  - Janice Bevilacqua; 7/27/2013

Book Culture
536 W 112th Street
New York, NY 10025
(212) 865-1588