Hidden NY: James Cummins Bookseller — A book lover’s paradise

Posted at 8:46 AM, Nov 22, 2019
and last updated 2020-01-10 03:34:36-05

MANHATTAN — Madison Avenue is known for some of the best shopping in the city — if you have the money to spend.

Smack in the middle of Jimmy Choo and Hermes, seven floors up, is the James Cummins Bookseller.

It's not like your local Barnes and Noble store. A short elevator ride, and you enter another world: One that book enthusiasts can get lost in.

"One of the few we call 'Generalists' of the rare-book world, especially in New York."

Run by a father and his son, the James Cummins Bookseller started back in 1978.

"My father started it. He was a book junkie. He loved and still does love books. he had a private collection of his own," said James Cummins III.

"It turned into a business, and we actually have 400,000 books."

All 400,000 books are not at the Madison Avenue location, but there are certainly shelves and shelves of books to look through.

You can purchase books that are under $100, but the James Cummins Bookseller is known for its bindings that are more like investments and rare finds.

You'll also find an inscribed first edition of "Casino Royale" — still in its nearly immaculate dust jacket.

A copy of "The Great Gatsby" in a decorative box, a first edition of "Cat in the Hat" and even Maurice Sendack's "Where the Wild Things Are" can be found at the shop.

The James Cummins Bookseller is located at 699 Madison Ave.