Strand Bookstore

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Coordinates: 40°44′00″N 73°59′27″W / 40.7333°N 73.9908°W / 40.7333; -73.9908

Strand Bookstore
Industry Specialty retail
Founded 1927 (1927)
Founder Ben Bass
Headquarters New York City, United States
Number of locations
1 store, 1 kiosk
Area served
New York metropolitan area
Products New, used and rare books
Owner Fred Bass, Nancy Bass Wyden
Number of employees
about 240

The Strand Bookstore is an independent bookstore located at 828 Broadway, at the corner of East 12th Street in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, two blocks south of Union Square.[1][2] In addition to the main location, the store's Central Park kiosk is open on fair weather days at the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 60th Street.[3] The company's slogan is "18 Miles Of Books", as featured on its stickers, T-shirts, and other merchandise. In 2016, The New York Times called The Strand "the undisputed king of the city’s independent bookstores."[4]

History and description[edit]

The Strand, which was named after the street in London,[5] was opened by Benjamin Bass in 1927 on nearby Fourth Avenue, which had at the time 48 bookstores, in what was known as "Book Row", which was established as early as 1890,[4] and which started to disappear around the 1930s and again in the 1950s, due to rent increases.[5] Bass's son Fred took over the business in 1956 and the next year moved the store to the present location at the corner of East 12th Street and Broadway.[4] Fred's daughter Nancy Bass Wyden – who is married to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon – is co-owner of the store. The store occupies three and a half floors, using half a floor for offices and one additional floor as warehouse space. As of June 2017, the store had around 2.5 million books,[4][5]

The Strand's basement holds its collection of review copies of recently published books

Besides the main store and Central Park kiosk, 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 due to rent increases.[6]

The Strand is a family-owned business with more than 200 employees.[4] Many Lower East Side artists have worked at the store, including two rock musicians of the 1970s: Patti Smith – who claimed not to have liked the experience because it "wasn't very friendly"[7] – and Tom Verlaine,[8] who was fond of the discount book carts sitting outside the store,[9]

The Strand has had a unionized workforce for over 35 years.[10] On April 5, 2012, unionized workers at the store rejected a new contract. Further talks were planned between the two parties.[11] On June 15, 2012, workers ratified a new contract.[12]

As of June 2017, the oldest book for sale in the Strand is an edition of Magna Moralia, which is priced at $4,500. The most expensive book is a copy of James Joyce's Ulysses at $38,000.[5]

In popular culture[edit]



  1. ^ "Strand History" on the Strand Bookstore website
  2. ^ Leopold, Todd. "The death and life of a great American bookstore", CNN, (September 12, 2011)
  3. ^ "Store House and Directions" on the Strand Bookstore website
  4. ^ a b c d e Annie Correal, (July 15, 2016) "Want to Work in 18 Miles of Books? First, the Quiz" The New York Times
  5. ^ a b c d Wolfe, Jonathan (June 27, 2017) "New York Today: Celebrating the Strand" The New York Times
  6. ^ Woodman, James S. (June 27, 2008)"Stranded by construction, book store will close its doors" Downtown Express
  7. ^ Milzoff, Rebecca (November 27, 2005) "Patti Smith Discusses Her Influences" New York
  8. ^ Mengaziol, Peter (November 1981) "Tom Verlaine Plays with the Focus", Guitar World
  9. ^ Kim, Jane (ndg) Television on Print: "A literary conversation with Tom Verlaine", Dusted
  10. ^ Staff (March 16, 2012) "At the Strand Bookstore, a Retail Labor Struggle in the Age of Amazon and Occupy" Metrofocus (WNET)
  11. ^ Samuelson, Tracey (April 5, 2012) "Strand Bookstore Workers Reject Contract" WNYC blog
  12. ^ Krauthamer, Diane (July 18, 2012) "In New York Bookstore Contract Fight, Occupy Helped Workers Draw Energy, Media Spotlight " Truthout
  13. ^ Viernere, James. "Robert Pattinson’s romantic tale an affair to 'Remember'" Boston Herald (March 12, 2010)

External links[edit]