Among the youngest of the bunch, WORD might be New York’s best bookstore for securing a date. If you have yet to meet your one-and-only on the Lorimer St platform, while coincidentally reading matching paperback copies of Infinite Jest, you might instead consider joining WORD’s basketball league. Founded in 2007, the Greenpoint-based social-club-meets-bookstore is all about fostering a community grounded in literature, but perpetuated by actual human interaction -- that means bar nights, potlucks, and pick-up sports. With less than 1,000sqft to its name, the bookshop carries hundreds of titles, focusing heavily on paperback fiction. There are bulletin boards for roommate-seeking bibliophiles, witty cards marking staff recommendations tucked between spines, and recently a cartoonist was invited to draw personalized tattoos onto willing readers. Like the book-based frat you never had, WORD is all about cultivating relationships -- and, well, words.
Recommended reading: WORD’s staff recommends Sonya Chung’s The Loved Ones -- an interweaving tale of unlikely connection and consequence spanning massive generational and cultural divides.