Last week we wrote about the opening of Mellow Pages, a new reading room among the artists' spaces at 56 Bogart in Bushwick. And it's all part of a larger trend: in less than a year, the neighborhood has seen an explosion of small book-sellers. Combined with a couple of neighborhood stalwarts, it makes for a lot of options whether you're looking to buy, re-sell, or just hang out and read books. In some cases, maybe even have a drink or two while you do it.
So which one should you give your business? Well, all of them, because they're small booksellers and support is always welcome, but also, it depends on what you want, exactly. Whether your thing is art, emerging authors, or witchcraft (seriously), we've got you covered.
So it's not technically a bookstore so much as a membership-based reading room and small library, but we're still big believers in the Mellow Pages model of giving books to get books. Ideal for those times you're feeling indecisive about what book to read next (and where to hang out while you read it).
Mellow Pages, 56 Bogart Street.
Another February opening near the Morgan L stop, Catland — which bills itself as Brooklyn's "premier metaphysical, occult and Pagan boutique" — is maybe the most specifically focused of all the area bookstores. To give you an idea, their opening party last month featured "a ritual blessing by Frater Puck" and tarot readings, among other things. If this is your thing, they'll have exactly what you want.
Catland, 987 Flushing Ave.
After opening up in July 2012, Molasses Books has built up a loyal neighborhood fan base, and it's easy to see why. A great deal of their large, eclectic selection comes from owner Matthew Winn's personal library, as well as books donated by customers, making for a well-curated but pretty comprehensive inventory. The in-house bar (which also serves freshly brewed coffee) probably doesn't hurt, either.
Molasses Books, 770 Hart St.
Yet another bookstore that opened in the neighborhood in early 2013, Blonde Art Books is the brick and mortar incarnation of owner Sonel Breslav's already-popular blog of the same title. The store is located within the Schema Projects gallery, and is dedicated to a small exhibition of art books, which are also for sale.
Blonde Art Books, 92 St Nicholas Ave
The oldest bookstore in the neighborhood — which to be fair, isn't a hard distinction to claim — All Eye's on Egypt has regularly been a part of historic Bushwick walking tours, which makes sense. The impossible-to-miss black and gold storefront is located next to a former Nuwaubian mosque, once a hub for the controversial Dr. Malachi Z. York. Helpful if you need anything Egypt-related, we'd imagine, but mainly, an interesting space and a still-relevant connection to the neighborhood's past.
All Eye's On Egypt, 717 Bushwick Ave
Last summer, the owners of Williamsburg institution Book Thug Nation moved farther east, opening up Human Relations, probably the best of the bunch for all-purpose book-buying. With a comprehensive collection that includes a fair amount of foreign language works, they've hosted regular readings since opening, and also, will buy back your books. Seems like the only thing missing is a bar.
Human Relations, 1067 Flushing Ave.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.