You invest in great wine. Collectable art. Precious metals. But for the literature lover, the discerning collector looking for something to invest in that also reaches deep into his passion, the rare book world is a fascinating industry to explore. There’s a certain joy in collecting books…the history in your hands, the past in every page you touch. It starts as a hobby and can quickly turn into a dangerously expensive addiction…

Finding the right people to work with is the key to having fun while collecting. When you find the right book seller for you, you just know. It’s a relationship to build on for years to come, so you want to make sure you meet the right one.

Joshua Mann and Sunday Steinkirchner are exactly the right kind of people. A young couple with a passion for literature and love for the written word, they run B & B Rare Books and specialize in everything from English and American Literature, Modern First Editions, Victorian Literature, Poetry, Mystery and Detective Fiction, Children’s Literature and Signed Books.

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First Edition of The Great Gatsby at B&B Rare Books in Gramercy. Photography by Jenna Davila.

B & B Rare Books used to be a private appointment only shop run from Josh and Sunday’s living room in New York City—they just expanded to bigger and better things with a new boutique gallery space in the Gramercy/Flatiron district of Manhattan.

The location is perfect—steps away from Gramercy Park, close to Union Square and located right between Gramercy Tavern and the Theodore Roosevelt birthplace. It’s the perfect little nook to browse, cozy up and explore centuries of books at your leisure—with a cocktail in hand, if you’re careful.

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Rows of rare books and unique first editions line the walls at B&B Rare Books new brick and mortar shop. Photography by Jenna Davila.

With the new space comes some exciting new inventory. Josh and Sunday keep the shelves stocked with perennial favorites like The Old Man and the Sea and The Sun Also Rises and also currently have two signed photographs of Hemingway. One photo is Hemingway attending a bullfight in Madrid, and the other features him with an over 1,000 pound Marlin he had caught on a fishing trip. Both are signed by Hemingway to Rupert “Hercules” Bellville, son of the first English bullfighter. B & B Rare Books also just obtained a Hanmer Shakespeare (one of the earliest known fully illustrated sets of his works) and they have letters penned by Dickens and Emerson. Check out these gems while you have a chance…it’s an art gallery style space but (almost) everything here is for sale.

People collect rare books for all different reasons, but most do it because of their intense passion for books and the knowledge that they contain. Some collectors make their collections public, while others are more private about it. It’s a tight-knit community, and there’s a lot of collegiality among dealers. Most collectors love working with a bookseller that they trust.

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B&B specializes in rare first editions with prominence. This inscribed Jack Kerouac novel is just one of the amazing finds at this rare book shop in New York City. Photography by Jenna Davila.

“That’s one of the things we love most about what we do– our close relationships with our customers and other booksellers. We really love the material we work with. We grew up reading Fitzgerald, Woolf, Wilde, and Shakespeare– they were the authors that inspired us and we continue to focus on them. We also really love the flexibility of owning our own business, and the opportunity to travel and connect with other booksellers and business owners.” – Sunday Steinkirchner

B&B Rare Books
30 E 20th St #305
New York, NY 10003
(646) 652-6766