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Independent bookstores

Mary Hope Friedermann reads a story at Bella

(Credit: Newsday photo / Sabrina de Sampaio )

Long Island's rich literary history is indisputable. Walt Whitman, who penned the famous poetry collection "Leaves of Grass," was born in Huntington. John Steinbeck, author of "The Grapes of Wrath," was known for drinking at bars and frequenting local shops in Sag Harbor, where he lived. F. Scott Fitzgerald set "The Great Gatsby" on the Gold Coast. Additionally, Jack Kerouac, Thomas Pynchon, Mario Puzo and other literary greats have all called Long Island home.

Despite its past, Long Island has struggled to maintain its literary presence. While the Island boasts about 20 chain bookstores scattered throughout Nassau and Suffolk, independent bookstores are few and far between.

Fortunately, there are a few places remaining where avid readers can receive bookseller recommendations, hear a favorite author read from their newest work, or pick up a used classic and pass on the love of reading to their youngsters. Here are a few of those places.

--Compiled by Anne Machalinski

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