Strong atmosphere: There is plenty to see and browse, but it’s open enough to let you stand (or sit!) and leaf through a book without being bowled over by the more impatient patrons. There seem to be two sections or sides of the store, and one is dimmer than the other, which features the kids section and the bestsellers, so the distinction is fitting.
Decent discounts: 30% off on all bestsellers, hardcover and paperback.
Current and relevant: BookCourt features plenty of events for Brooklyn authors, and it advertises community news (or, rather, allows people to advertise) on the centrally-located staircase. Surrounding this staircase is a worthy selection of art journals and literary magazines featuring new and established talent, such as McSweeney’s and The Common. On the New Paperbacks shelf, I found a really interesting book that I considered purchasing (but, in the name of frugality, decided against). Later, when researching the book, I discovered that the paperback wasn’t scheduled for publication until the following week. Talk about being on top of the book market!
Unique finds: Downstairs was a bargain as well as a section of fascinating UK editions for which I may have to return.
Friendly staff: Although not all the staff seemed too gregarious, a couple of staff members did ask me if I needed help (in a non-intrusive, non-pressuring manner). Then, when I was checking out (I had to buy something: a discounted copy of Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín – fitting, no?), the cashier offered me a clementine. Yes, please.
Support from writers: Local authors seem to like it, too – at least, Jonathan Ames and Nathaniel Rich do.
Convenient location: It’s located right across the street from Trader Joe’s.