by Haley Houseman
On a bright and sunny corner of hip Greenpoint, there is 850 square feet set aside for books and the community they create. Word, an independent Brooklyn bookshop, is tightly stuffed with books for all tastes and ages. The stock is selected with care and enthusiasm by Christine Onorati, who co-owns Word with her husband Vincent. It’s a great place to browse, with handwritten recommendations tacked around the bookshelves featuring heartfelt endorsements from the staff (recent staff favorites included Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine and The Farm by Tom Rob Smith). Always friendly, the staff is happy to order a book or offer their own opinion. If you’re looking for their opinion from beyond the bookstore, they’re available on Tumblr, where they answer questions and post the shelf recommendations.
The shelves are well organized, densely packed into the cozy corner shop. A small children’s area is tucked into the back, and a stationery corner faces a gorgeous selection of cookbooks. The well-curated selection of fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novels include classics and contemporary authors. Readers looking for a balanced literary diet should try Cheryl Strayed’s collection of advice columns, Dear Sugar or pick from a gorgeous assortment of cookbooks. They can also pick up some Nabokov and Human of New York for good measure.
In the front of the store, Word displays a bulletin board with literature-based personals for the New York City area. Based on your likes and dislikes, books can help you find the perfect roommate, start a new romance, or just find a new friend. One listing claimed Moby Dick as a favorite and ruled out sci-fi entirely. Word holds a variety of literary events, from books clubs to lectures and discussions. Word Brooklyn is located a historically Polish immigrant neighborhood that is fast becoming fashionable. (There is also a Word bookshop location in Jersey City.) Nearby, hungry book lovers can find the Nordic cafe Budin, the restaurant Littleneck Outpost, and one of the locations of Ovenly, a neighborhood bakery beloved for its cookies and gluten-free options. (You can find their treats at the McNally Jackson Bookstore in Manhattan, as well.) Even if you don’t live near the two locations in the New York City area, you can still reap the benefits of this community driven bookstore by signing up for their digital mailing list, which includes the staff picks and curated book lists to help guide your next shopping trip.
126 Franklin Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
718-383-0096 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Store hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week
Illustration by Haley Houseman for Literary Traveler.