The Strand is Opening a Store on the Upper West Side


The interior of The Strand’s downtown store. Via The Strand.

The Strand has just signed a lease to open in the former home of Book Culture at 450 Columbus Avenue between 81st and 82nd Streets, the company told West Side Rag.

The Strand at Columbus Avenue (its official name) is planning to open in March. It will carry “a vast selection of used, new, and rare books, as well as other bookish items.” It’s also planning on holding an event series.

Book Culture, which opened in 2014 and closed for good last month, also held an event series. The store was apparently profitable for much of its tenure, but struggled in recent months as legal and financial issues mounted.


The former Book Culture space that will soon house The Strand.

The Strand has an iconic four-floor store on Broadway and 12th Street, the last surviving shop on New York’s famed Book Row of the early 20th century. The Strand has no other satellite stores; this will be its first time branching out since closing its annex store in 2008. The company is now run by the third generation of the founding family.

“We are so excited to expand The Strand and engage the community of the Upper West Side,” said owner Nancy Bass Wyden in a statement. “We aim to continue the legacy of my father, and his father before him, by bringing the joy of books to everyone.”

NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 78 comments | permalink
    1. Adam G. says:

      This will be a huge improvement over Book Culture. Great news!

    2. Michele McDonough Dellinger says:

      This is so exciting!

    3. Great news for the UWS! We needed that!

    4. Absolutely fantastic news! Can’t wait!

    5. Robert Sheridan says:

      TERRIFIC!

      WONDERFULL!

      Aways a great adventure visiting their store(s).

    6. C M says:

      book culture dude just got dunked on.

    7. Designaddict10023 says:

      This is OUTSTANDING news 🙌🙌🙌🙌

    8. Kate Koza says:

      I am bursting with joy (something I haven’t felt since November of 2016)!! I was absolutely devastated when Book Culture’s space was seized and closed; weekly visits were such an integral part of my Sunday routine post-farmers market. I will forever miss the Book Culture staff, but am eternally grateful that the Strand will be taking over the space and maintaining its purpose and mission.
      We shall call it The Strandlette, and it shall be much loved. Thank you for this news, WSR!

    9. cynthia says:

      PLEASE come to the East Side. how can there be so many book stores so close to each other on the west side and we don’t have one book store between 42nd street to 86th street??

      • Dragomir Radev says:

        @cynthia – nitpicking here – there is a B&N on 46th and 5th.

        In any event, it would be great if Strand opened a bookstore on the ES. There are a lot of empty stores available.

        So happy to see all these new bookstores, e.g., McNally Jackson in South Street Seaport and Shakespeare & Co. on Broadway and 69.

      • lynn says:

        So happy about the Strand!

        As for the UES…it’s worth walking the 7 blocks (from 86th) over to The Corner Book Store on Madison and 93rd. Whether living on the UES or the UWS, we’ve continued to shop there since 1978. : )

        • Billy says:

          Agreed — I live on 93rd and 2nd, and Corner Bookstore is a treasure. There’s also a Shakespeare & Co. near Hunter College, but I do agree I’d love to see more book stores on the UES.

      • George says:

        You’re right that there aren’t a ton of bookstores on the east side but don’t forget the great Shakespere & Co at 69th and Lexington.

      • Alan Flacks says:

        She’s right. We UWS-ers have the book stores, some open late.

      • Ben says:

        That statement is just false. The Upper East Side has plenty of options. Two B&N stores, Logos, Shakespeare & Co, Ursus, Albertine, off the top of my head, and a significant number of the best specialty book stores.

      • Cato says:

        I think you folks took a wrong turn somewhere. You’re looking for the *East* Side Rag, apparently. (Sorry, I don’t have a URL for that….)

        Though, of course, you’re always welcome to browse the goings-on here on the better Side. Anytime!

    10. Betsy Wade says:

      The best of all possible possibilities. Welcome, welcome, to a few miles of old books.

    11. Morgs says:

      Woohooo!!!

    12. Elizabeth says:

      Wonderful!!

    13. Marcia says:

      Pity that with all the enpty storefronts on
      the uppwer west side, Strand would choose to
      open its new store almost directly across the street of the only other major bookstore in the
      80s. Strand was a noble idea, but doesn’t have the floor or inventory space to allow for browsing or to have quick access to requested books.The coffee shop and print-it-yourself
      book publishing limit even further Shakspear’s inventory and browsing space. So this is a mixed bag announcement.

      • Martin says:

        I think you have the location mixed up with something else. There is no book store across the street from this closed Book Culture spot.

      • robert says:

        Coffee shop??? Café in the store?? Just wasted space that could be used for more books. LOL
        Just kidding but when I go to a book store its for books not to buy very overprice snacks to sit there and work on my lap top on their free wi fi> These cafes ay B&N and others have brought people in that don’t buy books they just sit there and use it as their “office” I laugh about this daily when I go by walking my Lab in the am and the same folks are there in the afternoon. They take up space here and at Starbucks that could be used for paying customers. Several Starbucks have closed due to a drop in bizz, to the point that several UWS Satrbucks now have signage and do enforce the 30 min rule. Several times they have come out to the floor and said until we sell another X dollar amount we are shutting off then WIFI People camp, out at tables all day discouraging other paying customers. This is one of the reasons Strands 12th street store doesn’t have WIFI. they don’t want people camping out and not buying books.

    14. Ariel Devine says:

      This is truly the best UWS news we’ve received in a long time. I was still in mourning for Book Culture where I practically lived since it opened. And now to find out we’re getting a branch of the best independent bookstore in the City In the same location. Hallelujah, happy days are here again. I will have a new home away from home.

    15. Mike says:

      Yea !!!

    16. robert says:

      Great, there goes the rest of my paycheck that I don’t already spend at their 12th street store. I have been shopping there so, long its like the opening of a Cheers episode when I walk in, they all say hello Robert.
      I just hope they have “real” books in sections, not just the newest potboiling novel. The strand has long had a policy that they can put you on a waitlist for a book that you are looking for if they are out of stock. They will call and email you when it comes in and they will hold it for you for 7 days. When they had the Fulton street store you could chose to pick it up there instead of 12th street if that was more convenient for you. Hopefully they will do that with there new store as well.

    17. Lisa says:

      I can’t ❤️ this enough. So exciting! Welcome to the neighborhood!

    18. coucha says:

      Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen…

    19. Janice says:

      This is GREAT!!!!

    20. SBG says:

      Wonderful news on what was up to now a decidedly lousy news day.

    21. yoyomama says:

      I love it but that space is SO tight. Wish hey could have leased on Columbus Ave (75/76) in the old 3-level Duane Reade space. That whole block is practically empty.

      • Martin says:

        Agreed! That old Duane Reade space would have made a great place for a Strand store. But I’ll take what I can get!

      • robert says:

        Look at the econ of it To move into that location would have cost millions to renovate and months this is move in reedy.

        • sam says:

          Exactly – this was also obviously a move by the folks trying to lease the space to get another bookseller in fairly quickly, given all the controversy, so it’s also about this specific space, and not just about a random decision to open on the UWS.

    22. Book Vulture says:

      Wow. The Strand. Wonder if they know anything about running a bookstore.

      • Peggy says:

        LOL, Robert — me too! There goes the paycheck.! I will be so happy to welcome the Strand uptown.

    23. Gail Klein says:

      Good news for a change! Love The Strand!

    24. Mark says:

      It is a fantastic news. It is my favorite bookstore and I will no longer have to run downtown.

    25. Bobby says:

      it worked out for the best! WOW! Thank you to the Stand!

    26. Cathy says:

      Congratulations so glad to see a book store in that location

    27. Steve says:

      Wow – huge improvement over fake virtue-signaling Book Culture!!

    28. Barbara Massey says:

      Congratulations!!
      I love books and bookstores!

    29. Sydney McIlhenny says:

      Not as excited as the Upper West side is to have hte Stand coming!! WOO HOO

    30. Terry says:

      The author fails to mention the fact that even though they had not opened another store, they did have multiple Stands throughout the city, some of which were almost the size of stores.

    31. Rina says:

      Very disappointed that there are no negative comments from WSR readers thus far.

    32. cma says:

      Yay! For an Uptown Strand. But we could use a bookstore at the Columbus Mall, stretching from 96th st to 106th St…on Columbus, and with no bookstore for all ages south to 82nd St.

    33. I’m a store owner on the UWS and excited to have The Strand here. I believe that this hood can welcome “book culture” again. I have been going to your store downtown since the 70’s till today. Needless to say a I a mini library at home. I will certainly spread the word about your opening. Good Move…much success to your venture.

    34. Ann bluestein says:

      Book magic coming to the UWS. I always wondered why the Strand didn’t have another site. Love it.

    35. Lois Stavsky says:

      Best news I’ve heard in awhile! Perfect timing!

    36. Evan Bando says:

      Great news. Worth a hundred new restaurant openings.

    37. Holy cow! That is the greatest news imaginable!

      Book Culture was a loss. The community really values a bookstore in that location.

    38. Ira Schwitzler says:

      It’s so great to have a bookstore for browsing. I then use bookfinder.com to see where I can get the cheapest price online. Works really well.

    39. Alan Flacks says:

      The square footage is not enough for a Strand bookstore in the likes of its downtown store.
      But it is a welcome addition nonetheless. A “Strand-ette” as a few commentators have noted.

    40. NPK says:

      While the Strand is a perfectly good bookstore it will never replace the friendly, cozy neighborhood feel of BOOK CULTURE!

      • DAVID NATOLI says:

        I liked Book Culture but honestly it was starting to feel like a gift shop. Additionally, they seemed to allow strollers to entirely block the magazine section whenever I visited.

        The UWS deserves a more “literary” bookstore.

        Mcnally Jackson would have been good. The Strand will be great here I am sure.

        I echo those who expressed disappointment in the current incarnation of Shakespeare and Co. Which also feels more like a hangout spot than a serious place to buy books.

        • Laura says:

          David – Where do you suggest parents who want to introduce their children to books park their strollers?

          Welcome to NYC and the UWS, where families DO exist, and have small children.

    41. Robin Rice says:

      Simply WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL!

    42. VERONICA says:

      The Strand, known for being the best to employees. At least it has something in common with Book Culture,

    43. Brenda says:

      Well whatya know! Bravo!!!!!

    44. James A Mc Donald says:

      There IS a God.

    45. Kevin M Pollison says:

      Does this effect the store by ST. Johns as well? That was also called The Book Culture and sold a lot of text books to the college students.

    46. Elizabeth Grant says:

      Some great, positive news for the UWS, just 4 blocks away. I know where I will be spending a lot of time. So excited!!!

    47. Sam Ludu says:

      A Strand Bookstore on the Upper West Side is great news.

      I used to go to Columbus Books on 57th (gone!) or hop over to the B&N on the Upper West Side (gone!), not to mention a trip to nearby Tower Records (gone!) and maybe finish an afternoon at Lincoln Center Cinema (gone!)

      I live now in upstate NY but I’ll be at your new Strand in April if it’s ready for me.

      Thanks.

    48. DR Cool says:

      Great news! UWS gets another museum!! Anyone have the link to the GoFundMe page for this yet?

    49. Joanne Dorian says:

      Awesome news!!! Welcome, welcome, welcome!

    50. Evan Bando says:

      The only thing that could ruin a Strand on the UWS is if they dedicate too much of that small space to children’s books. That was the problem with BC. That and too much tchotchke. Strand, if you’re listening, it has to be like the one on 12th Street.

    51. Odt2bn says:

      Print is DEAD

      • Genevieve Montgomery says:

        Apparently, it isn’t 🙂

      • Fred DuBose says:

        Odt2bn, if you kept up with what’s been happening in publishing you’d know ebook sales slumped as print book sales rose. And all I gotta say is Hallelujah!

    52. MS says:

      Weekday story time for little ones would be an added benefit to the community. Hope they do something like this.

    53. DJ says:

      Nancy Wyden, from the top rope!

      Great, strategic move.

    54. Cityrachel says:

      We are delighted. Neighborhoods are better with bookstores.

    55. Bobbie Meshirer says:

      could not be more thrilled!!!!

    56. KD says:

      The disappointing part is that the proportion of Strand books that are truly discounted or remaindered has shrunk drastically.