Friday, September 9, 2011

Love My Indie with The Secretary from The Secretary Files

Love My Indie is a feature where fellow bloggers, readers, and authors tell me about their favorite independent bookstores. I love the feeling I get when I go into an independent bookstore - like it is filled with hidden treasures just waiting for me to find them. Maybe one day I will have the chance to visit these amazing bookstores.

Showing some Indie Love today is:

The Secretary from The Secretary Files
Neighborhoods change. Some go co-op, some go corporate and some go extinct.
Especially in New York City’s outer boroughs change is the constant and in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Manhattan’s weekend alter-ego, change has come and come to stay.  In Williamsburg, everything is both fleeting and nostalgic; one can wax their handlebar mustache while tossing away their defunk iPhone 4, but strangely enough within all this flux there are a few locations that have resisted the infinite updates.

Established in 1999, Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers ( has proven that no matter an ever-changing main street or new version of hipster, people will always want to shop for books. (Yes, I believe, people will always want to shop for books). Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Spoonbill & Sugartown carries a carefully curated collection of art/design books, indie publishers, ’zines and literature. Hardcover, paperback, new, used, rare and novelty, books line the shelves. The heart of the store is a large table, always offering up something new and undiscovered, the first destination for any knowing customer.

Spoonbill has outlasted the other local bookstores for two reasons. First, they buy or trade used books 363 days a year, perfect for voracious reading City-dwellers who don’t have the square footage for a hoarding habit. (Guilty!) Although, you may want to call ahead to make sure the owner or manager is on duty to make the purchase (ignore the surly female on the phone, she’s much nicer in person).  Secondly, the store keeps current with its changing clientele. For instance, when the original hipsters turned forty and started families (as did the owner) parenting and children’s books were added to the shelves. This kind of adaptability within a consistency is what makes Spoonbill & Sugartown a mainstay on Williamsburg main street, Bedford Avenue.

For events and readings ( at the store, which happened about once a month, you either have to be “in-the-know” or read their sidewalk sandwich board à la minute. But like all things in Williamsburg, the fewer people who know about it, the cooler it is.

So, if you’re visiting Williamsburg, don’t ask directions to the new hip clothing stores (those are still on the Lower East Side), instead pop into Spoonbill to peruse their collection, pet the cats and gaze at the soon-to-be-extinct hipster.

Spoonbill & Sugartown
218 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211-3234
(718) 387-7322
Many thanks to The Secretary for sharing this gem of a bookstore. It sounds like a really great place to shop for books and has a little bit of something for everyone. I couldn't imagine not having enough space to keep all of my books. But if I couldn't I would like to have a place like Spoonbill and Sugartown where I can sell back my books. 
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