Books of Wonder
217 West 84th Street
New York, NY 10024
*Hours for the West 84th Street location.
I came across the ‘Books of Wonder’ bookstore when touring the Upper West Side on the ‘Streets & Avenues’ tour of the neighborhood and fell in love with this whimsical little children’s bookstore that I found out later was the inspiration for the bookstore in the movie, “You’ve got Mail”.
Stocked with the latest releases and many of the classics that I grew up with, the bookstore is popular with the after-school crowd and their parents. There are many book signings and readings here and the staff is very helpful when trying to find a book for a gift. Take time to look over the stacks and even pick up one or two and start reading!
Books of Wonder first opened its doors on September 2, 1980. The tiny, hole in the wall shop was barely 200 square feet with bookshelves hand built by the 20 year old founder, Peter Glassman and his partner, James Carey. The original concept was for the store to be devoted primarily to antique children’s books until Peter discovered he didn’t have enough antique books to fill his shelves and quickly decided to add a section of new children’s books as well. Located at 444 Hudson Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, the store moved up the street to 464 Hudson Street in 1982 to larger quarters-through still small at only 400 square feet.
Over the years, the store has hosted such authors to stand room only crowds as J.K. Rowling, Madeleine L’Engle, Lloyd Alexander, Maurice Sendak, Eric Carle and many others. With so many author and artists events and so many folks turning out for them, it became necessary to expand again. Fortunately, the space right next door was available and in 2004 we moved to our current location 18 West 18th Street where we remain today with our largest retail floor yet, a gallery and cafe space. The store added another branch at West 84th Street in 2017.
Books of Wonder stocks the newest titles from the best authors and artist in the field as well as beloved classics that generations have grown up with. The store has a large selection of old, rare and collectible children’s books plus a gallery displaying original are and graphics from the vibrant world of books. They host weekly story times and numerous author and artist events each week.
Disclaimer: The History of the store is directly taken from their Blog and Websites. I have visited the store on the Upper West Side several times for “MywalkinManhattan.com” blog and have always been impressed by the selection and service.