The Strand Bookstore


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From what started as a small, used book shop in 1927, the Strand is now proud to be a place of not only books, but also community, culture, and conversation. During the past 90 years, Strand has been home to more than 2.5 million books, ranging from classics like Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird to Chris Kraus’s I Love Dick, and everything in between. It has been an honor to be visited by some our favorite authors like Patti Smith and Colson Whitehead, but even more of an honor to appear in the pages of their works. Below are 9 books from different genres that star or shout-out the Strand Bookstore.


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Patti Smith with STRAND Co-Owner Nancy


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Patti Smith


Patti Smith moved to New York in 1967 with no friends and no job. Not long after, she got a job, for a short time, at the Strand Bookstore and befriended Robert Mapplethorpe, someone as eccentric and creative as she was. Smith’s nostalgic memoir is primarily about her relationship with Mapplethorpe in the city when they were just kids, just unknowns, just aimless artists. Patti explains, “My sister Linda got me a part-time job at the Strand Book Store. I bought stacks of books, but I didn’t read them.” While at the time it wasn’t her favorite job, she was able to make “pocket money” to get by.



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Upstairs at THE STRAND


Upstairs at the Strand is a must-read for fans of the Strand. This incredible collection compiled by a former Strand employee, Jessica Strand (no relation to the store), focuses on the behind-the-scenes conversations of authors who have visited the store over the years. From Junot Díaz to Alison Bechdel, the book is filled with important perspectives on writing from novelists, poets, playwrights, memoirists, and more who frequent our iconic bookstore. Strand explains, “ It was this feeling — the serendipity, the variety, the happy collision of books, ideas, and people — that we tried to capture in our reading series up in the Rare Book Room,” which is the backdrop for these intimate interviews.


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