I took the train down to New York City on Monday in order to do a little book-tourism before the Tuesday conference at the Grolier Club (a recap of which is still coming, I promise!). The first stop was the Strand, which advertises "18 miles of books." I believe it, but because of the tight spacing between the aisles and the number of people in them, browsing was a pretty tricky proposition indeed.
The rare book room(s) on the third floor were much easier to browse through, although the very tall shelves made viewing the books more difficult than I'd have liked. They did have quite a good selection of books about books (illustrated at right), which I was pleased with. The review copy section and bargain books in the basement also yielded a few good finds.
After the Strand, my colleague and I visited Three Lives & Company, a very cute little shop in Greenwich Village, as well as Biography Bookshop on Bleecker Street. Both were much better for browsing, I found, but of course the tremendous selection at the Strand is a sight to behold.