In the age of infinite online inventories and e-readers that instantly download any book you desire, a store that’s full of titles you never even knew you wanted in the first place is more of a treasure than ever. St. Mark’s Bookshop has persevered in the East Village for more than 35 years and remains New York’s best bookstore for aimless browsing—despite the fact that it’s no larger than some of the New York University classrooms that dot the blocks around it. St. Mark’s stocks its share of bestsellers and remainders (leftover stock priced for the bargain hunter); what sets this East Village mainstay apart is the selection of culturally forward texts to satiate even the most discerning avant-gardester. It’s no wonder Allen Ginsberg used to trawl its shelves.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 16, 2013