If the books at the Strand were placed one after the other in a straight line, would it wrap the circumference of the world? Nah. The Strand says the number is actually only 18 miles, but this estimation will feel puny when you walk inside the behemoth 55,000-sq. ft. space and are confronted with volumes piled, seemingly, high to the sky.
Operated since 1927, the store (selling mostly used books, but new books, magazines, and souvenirs as well) is as much of an institution in New York as the 5-floor Barnes and Noble four blocks north is to America. In the far away land that was a more majestic old New York, the Strand was one of 48 book stores that lined Book Row, a papered stretch that went from Astor Place to Union Square; today, the Strand is the only one of the original bookstores still standing.