Astoria, Literary
Jun 14, 2016

Kickstarting a New Bookstore In Queens

At We Heart Astoria, we’re HUGE fans of Astoria Bookshop, a go-to spot to buy books, attend events, and check out what’s new in the literary world. Did you know (…)

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Photo Courtesy of Astoria Bookshop

At We Heart Astoria, we’re HUGE fans of Astoria Bookshop, a go-to spot to buy books, attend events, and check out what’s new in the literary world. Did you know that our beloved local bookstore is the only general purpose bookstore in the entire borough of Queens? After the Barnes & Noble outposts in Forest Hills, Bayside, and Fresh Meadows closed in the last few years, Astoria Bookshop was left as the last of its kind standing.

Three young women in Queens are looking to change that, with a Kickstarter titled The Queens Bookshop Initiative. Their goal is simple: bring another bookstore to our borough to fill the needs of readers of all ages. If you remember going to bookstores as a kid for author readings, birthday parties, or just to get lost in the shelves, you’ll appreciate how important it is for families in the neighborhood to have a place to experience all of the above.

About the women on a mission: Vina, Natalie, and Holly met while working together at the Barnes & Noble location that has since closed in Forest Hills. They each bring a unique skill set to the table, from publishing to retail management. Their common thread is a love of reading and a motivation to introduce the neighborhood to their passion.

In addition to providing a retail space, the store will aim to bring us:
-An event space to hold author signings, poetry readings, children’s story times and kid-friendly crafts
-A solid frequent-shopper rewards program, as well as discounts for students, educators, and servicemen and and women
-A book club
-A literary podcast and blog
-Community outreach programs: partnerships with local charities to bring books to children and creating internship opportunities for neighborhood teenagers

They’re currently just shy of 50% of their $70,000 goal, so if you’re interested in donating, check out their official page here. There are some fun perks for book nerds of all ages!

WHA note: The main shortage of bookstores in Queens relates to general/new stock shops. There are used bookstores, religious bookstores, and campus bookstores at places like St. John’s University and Queens College.

You may have first read about The Queens Bookshop Initiative by reading our weekly newsletter. Haven’t signed up yet? Be the first to read news like this by signing up on our page today!

About Lindsay Goyette

Lindsay has been eating and drinking her way through Queens since 2011. A casting director by day and Astoria explorer by night, you can usually find her checking out live music, theatre, or the newest neighborhood spot to enjoy a craft beer.


Tony Manuli

Let’s not forget about libraries. I understand they have books there as well. In addition to community events.


I am spoilt for choice here because I’m only a few blocks away from Astoria Bookshop, but I pledged what I could because we most definitely need more bookshops serving the diverse communities in Queens! Let’s do this peeps.


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