“We need the history as much as we need the fashion,” the brand’s artistic director, Julie de Libran, explained of the shop’s book-lined décor. Rykiel stores in other locations, such as Tokyo, London, and New York, have also followed suit with these literary-inspired accents.

Sonia Rykiel does not sell these books, but you can buy books at Warby Parker and Club Monaco. At Club Monaco’s New York City Fifth Avenue flagship, you will find a flower shop (Putnam & Putnam), a coffee shop (Toby’s Estate), and a bookstore (Strand). “We wanted to create a space where you don’t just come to buy a sweater, but are getting an education on art and culture,” Allison Greenberg, director of marketing and communications, told the New York Times in 2013. “You can have a cup of coffee or sit in the library and read a great book that is relevant to the Flatiron district.” The Strand bookstore is a New York City cultural institution with which any brand looking to succeed in the city would be lucky to partner, with 18 miles of books in its original Union Square location. It is a rare powerhouse in the independent bookstore world, making a tidy side business curating book collections for private homes and businesses—like Club Monaco.

This month, Warby Parker, the chosen eyewear brand for writers and those who want to look like writers, opened up two new stores in New York City, including one in Rockefeller Center that features a Stuart Davis kaleidoscope mural, in homage to the art deco heritage of Radio City. Both of these locations prominently feature books as décor—and books for sale. The brand itself has a literary heritage, as the name comes from two Jack Kerouac lesser-known characters, Warby Pepper and Zagg Parker. Every new employee gets a copy of Kerouac’s novel, Dharma Bums, as a welcome gift. And since Warby Parker opened its first flagship store in New York City, you can ask for in-store book recommendation as easily as you can ask for eyewear consultations. Warby Parker is still primarily an e-commerce company, though.

‘It made sense to design our stores in a way that pays homage to great civic institutions like the New York Public Library,” co-founder and co-CEO Neil Blumenthal explained on the phone. There are color-coded books in blue and red that are selected to match the mural, and there are books for sale: Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant, a former professor of Blumenthal’s at Wharton, is a bestseller for the shops.

Of course the bookshelves are also useful for at least one other key task—to display eyewear. “[They] functionally enable us to provide glasses at eye level that are well lit so that way people can shop,” Blumenthal said. “There’s nothing worse than shopping in a store that’s poorly lit.” Or poorly read, for that matter.

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