Pages with Patel: The Corner Bookstore

By Nishtha Patel

via the Corner Bookstore

The charm of the Corner Bookstore (Madison Ave and 93rd Street) is immediately apparent from the exterior. Two windows allow a glimpse into the shop below “13 The Corner Bookstore 13” written in gold-plated letters. The entrance is situated right in between the two windows. The allure of a small independent bookstore is apparent upon entering.

The selection is incredibly well-curated. The shelf facing the entrance displays new releases in hardcover. On the perimeter of the shop, there are large bookshelves housing anything from young adult fiction to travel tomes to large architecture and art books. They have anything from little Oxford editions about coral reefs to the Renaissance (which I spent way too long flipping through) and a biography about President Obama. While you can find best sellers, the obscure books that are found when browsing the shelves are even more interesting. You’re guaranteed to find something, whether it is a book of love haikus or grand yachts.

To keep up with the charming quality, in the middle of the store is a little nook surround by bookshelves with children’s books. A few little kids are usually taking books off the shelf and running around excitedly while others are curled up in chairs as their parents read to them — a precious sight.

Another interesting thing is the vintage cash register, complete with cranks and large buttons that must be punched every time someone makes a purchase, during which it emits a loud ring. I was mesmerized by the sight of them operating this huge, old machine. But my fascination didn’t end there: I looked next to me and there was an adorable gray and white cat, just standing there and occasionally meowing. An in-store cat is probably the best thing any bookstore can have.

The vintage charisma of this independent bookstore on the Upper East Side makes it one of the coolest bookstores to get lost in. There is always something interesting to see whether it is the unique books, cute cat, or old-timey cash register. It’s the perfect place to stop for a book before heading to read in Central Park.

Nishtha Patel is a contributing writer. Email her at


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