8 Of The Best Places In New York City for Book Lovers

Travel / Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Thank goodness for Thursday, or “Friday Eve” as I like to say! We are past the mid-week hump and from here on it’s downhill to the weekend. This week has been so busy that I haven’t been able to post regularly, and for that I apologize. I’m going to be so happy to see my fur baby and husband tomorrow! I’ve spent the past few days at a conference related to my day job and the topic of conversation has many times involved books and publishing. So I thought I would share my favorite literary spots in NYC that I discovered when the Mr. and I spent a few days there last fall. You can read my other post about our stay at The Library Hotel (mentioned below) here.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list. New York City is full of places to discover that have roots in literature of all kinds. I’m not sure you could see them all in one trip and there are going to be some places that I didn’t list. But as a first-timer to these spots, I thought it was a great roundup for the book lover looking to be wowed. I certainly was. In no particular order, here are 8 of the best places in New York City for book lovers:

  1. The New York Public Library

The facade of the NYPL is iconic, with Patience and Fortitude guarding over its front steps, but I had never actually been inside. A crime, I know! Well this time I went in and checked out a free audio guide to explore the building’s history. The Rose Main Reading Room had just reopened (pictured above) and it is breathtaking. In fact, the entire building is an architectural feast for the eyes. Don’t miss the Winnie the Pooh exhibit in the children’s area, which is cleverly flanked by Lego models of the library’s famous lions.

2. Library Walk

Just outside the NYPL as you walk along 41st street is Library Way. You’ll get excellent views of the NYPL but don’t forget to look down. The sidewalk has been transformed into Library Walk, with embedded bronze plaques featuring inspirational quotes about literature and reading. This made for a fun stroll back to The Library Hotel.

3. The Library Hotel

Die-hard book nerds like myself have to make this a bucket list item. This was one of the best boutique hotels I’ve ever stayed in and definitely the best for book lovers. You can see all the details on my post about our stay here.

4. Bookmarks Lounge

Technically I could include this with The Library Hotel, as it is the hotel’s rooftop garden lounge and terrace. But it is such an interesting venue that I thought it deserved its own place on the list. This is the best place to grab a literary themed cocktail such as The Pulitzer and Dante’s Inferno. Take in some sweet city views when weather permits or snuggle up inside next to the roaring fire. Quite romantic!

5. The Algonquin Hotel

This historic hotel opened in 1902 and is well worth a peek inside. The concierge was so kind to give me a little one-on-one tour of the lobby, Blue Bar, and the famous Algonquin Round Table. This was where the “Vicious Circle” of the 1920’s met regularly, including Harold Ross creator of The New Yorker. William Faulkner was also a guest of the hotel as was Maya Angelou and J.D. Salinger.

6. The Morgan Library and Museum

This is one of the most spectacular once privately owned collections available to the public. The Morgan Library houses a massive collection of books, including rare publications, manuscripts, and ancient artifacts. Pierpont Morgan was quite the collector in addition to being one of America’s most well-known financiers. A Gutenberg bible is on display as well as the American editions of Dickens’ Pickwick Papers. When I visited there was a Charlotte Brontë exhibit which included the original manuscript for Jane Eyre. Don’t miss Mr. Morgan’s Study while you’re there.

7. Minetta Tavern

If you’re looking to dine like literary greatness, head to the Minetta Tavern in Greenwich Village. First opened in 1937, it was frequented by Ezra Pound, E.E. Cummings, and Ernest Hemingway among others. It is also 1 Michelin Star Rated with a menu that is a little French-inspired yet served in a traditional tavern setting.

8. Bauman Rare Books

This shop is such a fun treasure trove of unique and rare books and documents. When you walk in go to the glass wall display on the right. Their catalogue boasts some of the most impressive works, which can be purchased if you’re a serious collector. You’ll find a signed first edition of Winnie the Pooh, speeches autographed and corrected by John F. Kennedy, and a first edition of Slaughterhouse Five inscribed by Kurt Vonnegut among other precious finds.

What are some of your favorite literary spots in New York City? I know there are others and I would love suggestions. 🙂 Thank you for reading!

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8 Of The Best Places In New York City For Book Lovers appeared first on Cathedrals & Cafés.

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