The Gift of Know-How: Books.

Steve Kroeter in his book-filled living room.

"One of the terrific things about living in New York is that there are many great bookstores," says Steve Kroeter, founder and editor in chief of Designers & Books.

Launched in 2011, Designers & Books is an advocate for books as an important source of inspiration for creativity, innovation, and invention. Steve and his team publish lists of books that members of the international design community identify as important and formative. We recently turned the tables on Steve and asked him for a list of his favorite books, which led to a discussion about favorite book sellers.


"One of my favorites is the Strand Bookstore, which is a block away from my office," he says. "It's really hard to walk by the Strand and not go in, so I go in there frequently. I always end up discovering books that I didn't know I was looking for."


Steve is also a huge fan of McNally Jackson on Prince Street in SoHo. "I think of it as the perfectly edited bookstore, not just in terms of the inventory of books but also as a bookstore experience. I love their little café and the selection of books is terrific. The selection of magazines is terrific."

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When Steve needed a book for his nine-year-old niece, he went to McNally Jackson and the children's book buyer was an ace. "I told her what I was looking for and in a few minutes I went from not knowing what to buy to having more books than I could possibly buy. I love going to a bookstore like that and finding someone who is clearly passionate about books and can answer your questions. They help you find exactly what you want … what you can never find on your own."


The Gift of Know-How from Design Within Reach | Books from Design Within Reach on Vimeo.

Learn more about Steve in the Gift of Know-How.