Take the 2-minute tour ×
MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm interested in compiling a list of bookstores around the world that stock a good selection of high-level mathematical books. The aim is so that a mathematician travelling, or on holiday, can easily check the list to see if there is a book store nearby that she or he could happily spend an hour browsing in.

Some particulars:

  • It must be a physical bookstore.
  • It should have a good selection of research level books. This criterion is designed to exclude stores that stock primarily popular books and undergraduate textbooks, such as some university and chain bookshops.
share

locked by Todd Trimble Feb 18 at 1:54

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site, so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed. More info: help center.

    
There was a discussion of this question on meta. –  Marius Kempe Jul 24 '13 at 6:50
2  
If answers can be collected in Country-City like categories, that would be really nice. –  Ali Jul 24 '13 at 12:34
    
Yeah, I think after some people answer to this question, we need a map with all the shops marked=) –  Olga Jul 24 '13 at 13:49
4  
If it's just for browsing math books, one may probably find a bigger selection in any university's math library. –  Michael Bächtold Jul 24 '13 at 23:23
    
Anything in france ? –  lmorin Jul 25 '13 at 12:22

14 Answers 14

The Cambridge University Press bookshop in Cambridge, UK is a lovely shop with nine bookshelves of mathematical books. There's approximately one bookshelf each for algebra, analysis, number theory, combinatorics, methods, geometry, probability & statistics, and recreational mathematics. They stock only books they publish themselves (of which there are several thousand mathematical ones), including a good selection from these series: Cambridge Mathematical Library, Cambridge Studies in Advanced Mathematics, the LMS Lecture Note series.

share
3  
Can only support this. I liked to spent hours there! –  Ulrich Pennig Jul 24 '13 at 9:46
1  
There's a store called Heffer's in Cambridge, UK, that was great in 2007. –  Tom Dickens Jul 25 '13 at 3:12
    
The discussion on the meta thread seemed to establish that Heffers has gone downhill since then - but it still might be worth a visit if you are in Cambridge. –  Marius Kempe Jul 25 '13 at 5:53

In Portland, Oregon, Powell's has a good new and used math collection which is always fun to visit:

Powell's Books Bldg. 2, 40 NW 10th Ave.

share
3  
Sadly, Powell's is not quite what it once was - since they moved their technical bookstore the selection seems somewhat diminished, which means it has gone down to merely being an exceptionally good technical bookstore as opposed to the sublimely good one that it once was. –  Steven Stadnicki Jul 24 '13 at 19:09

Two in New York City: The Strand, Broadway and 12th Street, and the original Barnes and Noble, 5th Avenue and 18th Street.

share
    
+1 for kindly helping –  Mahdi Khosravi Jul 24 '13 at 12:34
    
Can you describe them a bit? How many/what type of books? –  Marius Kempe Jul 24 '13 at 14:15
1  
@Marius: this is The Strand, one of the largest used-book sellers in the world. It would be one of the first places I look if I need to find an out-of-print title. (On the other hand, because of its turnover of used books, what you can find there does change from day to day.) –  Willie Wong Jul 24 '13 at 15:56
2  
@Marius, I can't tell you how many math books that B & N store has, but it's an order of magnitude greater than your average decent bookstore. The Calculus texts and popularizations are mixed in with the research-level books, but there are plenty of the latter. Sorry I can't be more precise. –  Gerry Myerson Jul 25 '13 at 3:21

I think, some less known shops need an advertisement. Independent University of Moscow (here is a link http://ium.mccme.ru/english/ to an English web-site) is a wonderful place itself and also runs its own bookshop. Most of the books are in Russian, but the choice is wonderful and the place is worth visiting for at least one hour even if you don't speak Russian!

share

In Chicago, IL, The Seminary Co-op Bookstore near the campus of the University of Chicago in the neighborhood of Hyde Park (near South Side) has a decent collection of research level mathematics books. http://www.semcoop.com

share

I haven't been there in a while, but Foyles (in London) used to have an excellent selection of mathematics books.

share
1  
I was there last year, and the level and quality of mathematics books had declined considerably from what it was a few years ago. I'd guess they have less than half the number of books they once had. –  John Stillwell Jul 24 '13 at 11:21
1  
That's too bad. Still, less than half the old stock would probably still make it the best mathematical bookshop in London. –  HJRW Jul 24 '13 at 12:29
3  
If you do go to Foyles, there's a Blackwell's about one block south and across the street that has a smaller math collection - not worth a separate answer but perhaps worth a look if you're already there. –  Marius Kempe Jul 24 '13 at 14:16

Black Oak Books on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley, CA, has a good selection of research level mathematics books in the store front and also 'in the back'. It is run (it was the last time I was there, at least) by Gary Cornell, a number theorist (although I'm not certain to what extent he is still involved in research), and he seems keen to speak with mathematicians that drop by.

share

In Paris, there's Gibert (26-34 Boulevard Saint-Michel). It's a giant bookstore with several floors of books including one whole floor devoted to scientific books. A sizable part of that floor is dedicated to maths, and there are enough books that they're sorted by subject (number theory, algebra, analysis, ...). During Springer's yellow sale, there's a big table overflowing with cheap Springer books, including many tomes of Bourbaki. If you go, there's a high risk of running into somebody you know.

share
    
Gibert Joseph in Paris (Boulevard St. Michel) has a phenomenal selection of new and used research level books in both English and French. Never used their web store before but here it is: gibertjoseph.com/livres/sciences-et-techniques/… –  27777 Jul 30 '13 at 21:14
    
FYI, the comment above was originally a duplicate answer. –  Ben Webster Jul 31 '13 at 20:35

In Warszawa (Warsaw), Poland, one can buy lots of interesting stuff directly at the Central Mathematical Library located in the building of the Institute of Mathematics of Polish Academy of Sciences (3rd floor, ul. Śniadeckich 8, 00-956 Warszawa, Poland).

share

In Berkeley, California, Moe's Books, just north of Dwight Way on Telegraph Avenue, has a nice selection of used math books on the third floor. I've found a few gems there.

share

North of Miami, Boca Raton has a large used book store, Bookwise, with lots of math research titles. It is very popular with participants of the annual Southeastern International Conference on Combinatorics, Graph Theory, and Computing, held each March at the nearby Florida Atlantic University: http://math.fau.edu/cgtc/cgtc44/Bookstore.html

share
    
I visited this store while in town the other day. It was great and I highly recommend it! –  5space Aug 7 '13 at 17:50

There's a bookstore called ADI on Calle Martin de los Heros in Madrid, near the Arguelles Metro station. They have a decent collection of research level books organized by topic.

share

The Stanford University Bookstore in Palo Alto, California. They have an online catalog, although it's unclear how complete it is.

share
3  
Alas, the story here is similar to Foyles. I was at the Stanford store a few months ago, and they have abolished the ground floor of the bookstore in favor of Stanford merchandise. The mathematics offering is now less than half what it once was. –  John Stillwell Jul 25 '13 at 0:17
2  
Yes, I was at Stanford last month and they have very little. I was going to say CUP in Cambridge and Powell's in Portland, as already mentioned. The Harvard Coop used to be great, but I haven't been there in a long time. Good bookstores are getting hard to find. –  Tom Dickens Jul 25 '13 at 2:11

The obverse of a bookstore, but still somehow relevant: The (excellent) Harvard Birkoff "noncirculating library":
BirkoffLib

share
1  
For that matter, one can cite a number of (non- or limited circulating) holdings of institutions, such as MSRI and UC Berkeley's Logic department. –  The Masked Avenger Jul 25 '13 at 0:55
    
Does that Harvard library still use its own cataloging system? –  Gerry Myerson Jul 25 '13 at 3:05
    
@Gerry: I don't know. –  Joseph O'Rourke Jul 25 '13 at 11:08

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.