• Samantha Kalinowski

The Hidden Gems


Photos by Samantha Kalinowski


When I first moved to New York City, it was difficult to find bookstores in the area. In this guide, I hope to help others find bookstores close to Pratt’s campus.

Books Are Magic is located at 225 Smith Street, four G train stops away from our Brooklyn campus. Exiting Bergen Station, you’ll find a small bookstore with old wooden doors and a colorful mural. Pushing those doors open is like entering a sanctuary. The space has skylights and bright walls, but the store’s many colorful book covers make it feel cozy. Books Are Magic specializes in author events for children’s books. It’s a nice place to go when you’re looking for a relaxing read or to spend a day with family.



Unnameable Books is at 600 Vanderbilt Avenue. I discovered this bookstore when one of my studio classes was held in its basement. A thirty minute walk from Willoughby Hall, the store is set to move across the street, though no one knows when. The cramped, yet cozy, store sells new and used books alike. Entering the place is like entering a maze of literature. The store’s yellow hue makes the whole place feel as if it were underground. I would recommend Unnameable Books to find books off the beaten path.


Greenlight Bookstore is a staple of NYC indie bookstores. It was the one bookstore people often told me about during my freshman year at Pratt. The closest location is at 686 Fulton Street. Greenlight is well-known for its author events and open floor plan. They even have a shelf that highlights small press books. Greenlight also provides a discount for Pratt students and tries to stock books that are needed for classes. It’s a great place to go when you’ve never been to an indie bookstore before. It’s easy to navigate, close to campus and has helpful staff.

Bookstores are a special part of this city. Brooklyn has so many indie bookstores to see, and the few I provided are just some of my favorites. Hopefully, this guide proves helpful in figuring out a new favorite place to find the books you love.