The Strand Bookstore is an independent bookstore located at 828 Broadway at the corner of East 12th St) in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, near Union Square. The Strand advertises that it has "18 Miles of Books", and is well-known among New Yorkers for its collection of publishers' overstock, used, rare, and out-of-print books, as well as the chaos on and around its shelves. The store houses the city's largest collection of rare books, and is also a contender for the title of world's largest used bookstore, its major competitor in this regard being Powell's Books of Portland, Oregon. The Strand occupies 55,000 square feet of space while Powell's flagship Burnside location has over 68,000.
A family-owned business with more than 240 employees, the Strand was opened by Benjamin Bass in 1927 on nearby Fourth Avenue, in what was known as "Book Row", which was established as early as 1890, and which had at the time 48 bookstores. Bass's son Fred took over the business in 1956 and soon moved the store to the present location at the corner of East 12th Street and Broadway. Fred's daughter Nancy is co-owner of the store, and is also married to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. The store occupies three and a half floors, using half a floor for offices and one additional floor as warehouse space. As of December 2011, the store has 2.5 million books.
In addition to the main location, the store's "Central Park Kiosk" is open on fairweather days at the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 60th Street. An additional location, the "Strand Book Annex", opened in the 1980s and was originally located on Front Street in the South Street Seaport complex. It moved in 1996 to Fulton and Gold Streets in the Financial District, but finally closed on September 22, 2008.
Many Lower East Side artists worked at the store, including Patti Smith – who claimed not to have liked the experience because it "wasn't very friendly" – and Tom Verlaine, both rock musicians of the 1970s.
On April 5, 2012, unionized workers at the store rejected a new contract which had been proposed by management as a "final" offer. Further talks were planned between the two parties.
- "About Us" on the Strand Bookstore website
- "Powell's City of Books"
- "Strand History" on the Strand Bookstore website
- Leopold, Todd. "The death and life of a great American bookstore", CNN, (September 12, 2011)
- "Stranded by construction, book store will close its doors" Downtown Express (June 27, 2008)
- "Patti Smith Discusses Her Influences" New York Magazine (November 27, 2005)
- Samuelson, Tracey. "Strand Bookstore Workers Reject Contract" WNYC blog (April 5, 2012)
- Media related to Strand Bookstore at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- In Depth tour of Strand Bookstore, September 5, 2004