Abracadabra Magic & Costumes is one of the great super stores. They've got everything for the horror fan and for anyone heading to a costume party. This is a massive store with a ton of fun merchandise and just the proper creepy atmosphere to feed into the whole experience. The staff is friendly but starting about October first the place turns into a madhouse so if you're thinking of getting a costume plan ahead accordingly.
Village Comics and Collectibles has been around in one incarnation or another for a zillion years. Whereas they began as a comic book store they have over time morphed into a store that sells all sorts of fantasy related items. Everything from statues, dolls, toys, posters and t shirts. They have a large assortment of "adults only" comics as well as tons of other comics. THe prices are fair and if you are in the store when it is crowded it is an unpleasant experience but when it isn't crowded you can see a lot of stuff fairly quickly. Worth a look when you are in the West Village.
SUFI Books has lots of really neat books and Cds from faith driven spiritual ideas. They are non denominational inter faith folks who are interested in exploring many different forms of self discovery. They also hold events such as KABBALISTIC MEDITATION hosted by a Rabbi and many other similar events from different religious traditions. The staff is friendly and this shop is worth a visit when you are in the neighborhood.
The Strand Book Store is famous for there enormous inventory of new and used books. They claim something like 18 miles of shelves of books and I wouldn't doubt that that is true. It is a bit messy and the staff is not all that helpful so wear comfortable shoes as you maybe doing a lot of walking, bending and possibly climbing ladders. You can't deny the inventory being world class and the prices are pretty good with some amazing bargains. If you have any interests in books eventually you have to come to the Strand to take a look.
St. Mark's Comics is a really cool comic book store. Located right in the heart of the East Village they have been supplying comics for over 20 years. The staff is funky, think lots of tatoos and spiky hair and are really helpful. They carry everything new and have lots of toys and an extensive assortment of graphic novels and books about comics. They are also open really late which is great as I'm frequently out at 10 or 11 pm and love it that I can buy comics at that late hour.
St Marks Bookshop is a great independent book shop which has been serving the East Village community for the last 20+ years. They have great sections on womens issues, literary criticism and current politics. The staff is first rate and can answer just about any question about books.
Sleep of Reason Comics has a nice selection of comics and comic related toys. The staff knows a hell of alot about comics and all forms of graphic narrative. If you are in the West Village and like comics this shop is a place for you to check out.
Sister's Uptown Bookstore is a valuable asset for the Harlem based African - American community. They carry the classics as well as works by the newest up and coming writers. The sales help are well connected with the local writers scene and can recommend books if you are looing for something with a new fresh voice.
The Scholastic Store is a pretty neat place even if they only carry Scholastic products. The world of Harry Potter is great and they held quite a Harry Potter party for the release of the last book. The staff are nice and friendly and even though you are locked into one company they make so much stuff you would be hard pressed not to find a book for your kid.
Quest Books has a great selection of books dealing with spiritual matters and books that deal with the largely unknown. Books on eastern religions, go mingle freely with books on the Tarot and all sorts of other ethereal subject matter. The people working there are really nice and can help you out with good advice on the quality of the books they sell. An all around positive place to shop and a great place to pick up off beat gifts.