Brooklyn has long boasted a particularly literary crowd. From Walt Whitman and Norman Mailer to Paul Auster, Jennifer Egan and Jonathan Safran Foer, some of America’s most esteemed writers come from the borough. So perhaps it is not surprising that Brooklyn also houses a rich variety of independent bookstores.
Last Tuesday, TimeOut New York published their list of New York City’s five best new [independent] bookstores, three of which are in Brooklyn. While Brooklyn already is home to a slew of well-known bookstores, including powerHouse Arena in DUMBO, BookCourt in Cobble Hill, WORD in Greenpoint and Greenlight in Fort Greene, literary folk have already been enjoying the unique newer establishments named in TimeOut’s list.
Molasses Books, located at 770 Hart St. in Bushwick, is a quirky used-book shop that offers fiction, nonfiction, poetry…and drinks. Customers are invited to hang out and read wine, beer, or coffee. Molasses even offers a daily happy hour from 6 to 8 p.m., and hosts readings and DJ nights. On Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, nocturnal bookworms can hang out past midnight.
powerHouse on 8th – the sister store of DUMBO’s powerHouse Arena – opened in Park Slope last fall to provide bibliophiles with a cozy, brick-walled space. This shop specializes in childrens and young-adult literature, as well as cookbooks, but also offers a more general selection. Like powerHouse Arena, the new outpost hosts a variety of events, including author readings and book groups. Susanne Konig, director of powerHouse Arena and powerHouse on 8th, told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, “The store has been embraced by the neighborhood, with a tremendously successful weekly Sunday Story-time, often hosting authors and their new picture books, and a very popular middle-grade reading club. Our customers are very excited to have their own little bookshop within walking distance from their home, and are actively buying books, gifts or a greeting card to support their indie bookstore.” powerHouse on 8th is located at 1111 Eighth Ave near 11th St.
The third Brooklyn bookstore on TimeOut’s list is Singularity & Co., an eccentric establishment that gathers 20th-century sci-fi and fantasy works. In addition to selling vintage copies of these classics, each month it chooses one out-of-print sci-fi title, locates copyright owners, and republishes the work as an e-book. Singularity & Co. is located at 18 Bridge St in DUMBO/Vinegar Hill.