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Members of The Center for Fiction have access to our award-winning Library collection of over 70,000 titles. Members may pick up requests, return borrowed items, place holds, and visit our Member Lounge, Reading Room, and Terrace during the following hours. Not a member yet? Join today!

  • Monday – Thursday: 11am – 8pm
  • Friday: 11am – 5pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: 12pm – 5pm

To browse our catalog, click here. The library takes requests! If you’d like to see a book added to our collection, simply fill out this form.

Our Cellar is closed for browsing, but you can place requests for titles from our collection!

Questions about the Library?

Head Librarian

Allison Escoto

About the Library

Reading Room right entrance view

“The library is an arena of possibility, opening both a window into the soul and a door onto the world.” —Rita Dove

The Center for Fiction’s library has its roots in possibility. Originally known as the Mercantile Library of New York and founded in 1821, its mission was to provide the workers of New York City a space for education and conversation. Our current library continues to foster this tradition through our award-winning fiction collection, where you can find the newest releases alongside classics and rare books. The library is an integral part of the Center’s mission to promote and celebrate the art of fiction. Become a member today for access to our stellar collection and start exploring the possibilities!


Browse our catalog of over 70,000 titles currently in our library here.

The current collection, composed of books published in the last year, is shelved in the Member Lounge on the second floor. The older fiction is shelved in open stacks throughout all three levels of our Center. A small portion of our fiction, non-fiction, and biography collections are currently housed in a storage facility offsite but can be requested by members.

The library takes requests! If you’d like to see a book added to our collection, simply fill out this form.

Our Collection

Caribbean Fiction Collection


Caribbean Fiction Collection

“Reading the Caribbean means you read the world”
—Shivanee Ramlochan

As a cultural institution in downtown Brooklyn, our overarching goal is to reflect our community. The history of the Caribbean community in Brooklyn and throughout New York City is rich and multifaceted, going back generations. The Caribbean is an extremely prolific region of storytellers and boasts a distinct literary aesthetic. To the islands of the Caribbean, Brooklyn is the gateway to the diaspora. This idea is reflected in the numbers. Brooklyn is home to the highest concentration of Caribbean lives outside of the region. The Caribbean fiction collection within our membership library is a meticulously-researched joint project of the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival (BCLF) and The Center for Fiction.

Click here to learn more about this collection and browse the growing list of titles.

Literary Fiction


Literary Fiction

Our literary fiction collection includes a wide range of classic and contemporary fiction, from both independent presses as well as large publishers. Each year, the Library adds hundreds of new fiction titles.




Our mystery and suspense books are located in the cellar of our building and are part of the circulating collection. We have some of the first mystery and detective novels published in the United States as well as more contemporary authors and publications from around the world.




Our nonfiction collection contains a selection of nonfiction books related to the art of fiction, including titles in literary criticism, biography, and books on reading and writing.