Here at On The Real, we love a good independent bookstore. Small shops like McNally Jackson, BookCourt, or 192 Books are favorite haunts of ours due to the abundance of lovingly curated literature as well as the comfortable friendly book-nerd environments. Recently we stumbled across the “weekend only” shop called Freebird Books on the waterfront in Red Hook, and in so doing, we did a little dance. Billed as “a general used bookstore specializing in New York history and culture,” the only question we had was how the hell did it take us this long to find it?The place is small and densely packed with used titles of all shapes and formats. It’s not dusty but it is certainly redolent of old books, with just the right amount of worn-in couches and reading nooks. Can air be sepia toned? If so, they managed to nail that. The overall effect for me was like walking into the rambling, rent control apartment of your wonderfully eccentric old uncle who is an author (and maybe a swinger in the ‘70s?) on the Upper West Side. It was just awesome. And true to form, there were fantastic titles I’d never seen before on New York City history, culture, architecture, as well as all kinds of pulpy goodness. The proprietors have a solid sense of humor—shelves are organized into quirky collections like “BAD TITLES” and “UNFORTUNATE AUTHOR PHOTOS.”You could easily spend a Sunday morning poking around this place and finding strange and arcane stories about your hometown for your collection. We did just that. Alas, no books for kids, but the place is honestly magical enough that even a person who prefers their books with pictures can find entertainment aplenty.