WORD Books, on Franklin Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is hands down my favorite place to read or to attend readings in New York City. They always attract great writers and large, enthusiastic audiences. The store’s employees are incredibly well-organized, and know how to put on a show — I’ve read there several times, and have been to many other writers’ readings there. It’s always fun and memorable — a genuine literary event. The owner, Christine Onorati, has an instinctive feel for which books to stock, whom to hire, how to run a reading series, and what atmosphere to create. Thanks to Christine and her excellent staff, WORD is a small independent neighborhood bookstore that’s thriving at a time when so many others are dying. It reaches well beyond the borders of Greenpoint, but manages to feel cozy and local, a real part of the fabric of the neighborhood. It’s a warm, inclusive, exciting place, and it deserves to be widely known.
Kate Christensen, 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award winner, is the author of six critically acclaimed novels. Her most recent, “The Astral,” tells the story of Harry Quirk — a middle-aged poet struggling against poverty, alcoholism and impending divorce in a rapidly gentrifying Greenpoint, Brooklyn.