A Day at the Library ~

Books.  In a day and age when electronics reign supreme, it’s good to know people still pick up a book.  A real book, possibly even a library book, and not just open their Kindle or device of preference, but rather hold an actual book.  The smell of the pages.  The feel of a faded dog-eared page marking a stopping point. And illustrations. Old-school illustrations with captions.

I have a beloved collection of books that I will never part with, or at least not for as long as humanly possible.  I passed my love of books on to our son, who is building his library with books from his childhood and adolescence serving as the foundation. That’s not to say I don’t own a Kindle because let’s face it, an e-reader can’t be beat when it comes to traveling.

The New York Public Library

Depending on which source of information you believe, the New York Public Library is either the 2nd, or the 4th largest library in the United States.  I know, if you’re like me the question that immediately comes to mind is, where’s the largest library?  When I looked up the answer I thought, “Duh.”   Nope, not telling.  Find out for yourself and post your answer in a comment below.

new york public library

The New York Public Library. Do you see the lion standing guard? There is a second lion on the other side of the stairs. Do you know what their names are?

Odd as it may sound, the day we visited the New York Public Library, we didn’t come across a single book.  Well, I saw a few behind locked doors such as in private reading rooms. But I wasn’t able to get my hands on a book. The one room I had hoped to see was the Rose Main Reading Room, but wouldn’t you know it?  Closed for renovations.  It was a bit of a disappointment, but visiting the library is still worth the time as the architecture alone is definitely impressive.  I’d love to return next year once the room is reopened.  I can only imagine the grandeur. And the books. All of the books.

Public Library

A photo of the Rose Main Reading Room – definitely a reason to return one day. Photo Credit: New York Public Library

Cast in bronze, a collection of 96 plaques are embedded in the sidewalk on Library Way at East 41st Street between 5th Avenue and Park Avenue. It’s actually quite fun to walk along the sidewalk reading the quotations, but don’t forget to watch where you’re walking!  Because just like in so many large cities, people in NYC are on the move and if you’re not moving right along with them, well…

New York Public Library

Bronze plaque along The Library Walk.

And, following the quotations along the Library Walk is the ideal way to locate the Library Hotel, just 1 short block from the actual library.

The Library Hotel

Books.  It’s the perfect backdrop for a hotel just steps away from the public library.  For a lover of the written word, I can’t think of a better place to stay.  From the moment we entered the lobby of the Library Hotel, we knew we were in for a fabulous stay where words soothe the soul.

new york library

Book Lovers Never Go To Bed Alone

The Dewey Decimal system is at the heart of the hotel, with each floor designated by one of the categories of the system.  We stayed on the 4th floor, languages, which seemed to be a perfect fit.  And our room, like all 60 rooms in the hotel, housed a mini library.  The hotel itself has a collection of 6,000 books!

new york library

Our comfortable and well-appointed room on the 4th floor – languages.

Like all properties in the Library Hotel Collection, the Library offers guests endless amenities and comfort.  A lovely continental breakfast is served daily, as well as a relaxing wine and cheese reception each evening.

New York Library

The Reading Room.   Photo Credit: The Library Hotel

The Reading Room is located on the 2nd floor of the hotel and it is open 24 hours/day.  It’s a comfortable place to tickle the ivories on the grand piano, pick up and read a good book, or just sit back, relax and let the time slip by.  And don’t forget the rooftop garden.  We picked up lunch at a nearby sandwich shop and took it up to the 14th floor rooftop garden and enjoyed our sandwiches picnic style, it was the perfect setting.

New York Library

The setting for our picnic lunch.

The Library Hotel is truly a lovely property with impeccable standards and a welcoming and accommodating staff.  I’m hoping each of you has the opportunity to enjoy a day at the library.

New York Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* We were writers in residence at the Library Hotel and the Library Hotel Collection.  See our full disclosure here.

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20 Responses to A Day at the Library ~

  • I’m guessing here—the Library of Congress is the largest library in the US–in Washington, D.C. I remember going to the main national library when I was doing a semester in Bogota, Colombia. They assigned you a seat in the reading room. Then you filled out a slip with the book you wanted and they brought it to you—same thing at the library of the Pennsylvania Historical Society. Like you, I read ebooks when I’m traveling, but I find I have been ordering more “real” books lately on Amazon. Amazon loves me.
    PS: The Library Hotel looks like a cool place.
    Suzanne Fluhr recently posted…The Way – A Boomeresque Movie Review about Walking the Camino de SantiagoMy Profile

    • The Library Hotel was indeed a very cool place! I believe you would really enjoy it. And, the Library of Congress is probably my most favorite building in D.C., it’s just incredible.

  • Aparently the biggest library is the British Library in London with 170million catalogued books. I share your love for books, but for travelling only a kindle will do. I love that Library Hotel, how cool is that?
    Gilda Baxter recently posted…La Digue, a Brief Love AffairMy Profile

    • That’s a lot of books, Gilda! The Library Hotel was very cool, I’d gladly stay again and would recommend it to all!

  • So how long is the reading room closed for renovation? No books? So what’s the point – to look at the architecture?

    • Well, there were definitely people using the other not so glamorous reading rooms, and there may have been areas we did not see. The architecture is fantastic and well-worth taking the time to see. According to the website the Rose Main Reading Room will reopen in early 2017. Here is a link if you’re interested to learn more. http://gothamist.com/2015/07/06/rose_reading_room.php

  • I grew up loving and spending much time at the local library, a marvelous structure both inside and out. I read books all the time, especially loving Nancy Drew and Black Beauty. Plus the library provided opportunities for research for school papers. I still love to do research, but sadly, now use the internet almost exclusively. That is one classy library. But I’d never heard of the Library Hotel. What a kick. Over 6000 books! Wow.
    Gaelyn recently posted…Foto Friday Fun 177My Profile

    • Our son read all of the Black Beauty books, I still have the collection. I remember doing research the old school way – encyclopedias!

  • I love books too; the only possessions I put into storage at my mum’s house when we left to travel was a couple of box loads of my favourite books and lots of my old journals and notebooks. You’re right though, an e-reader really is the way to go when you travel, although now we have an apartment in Chiang Mai I have started perusing the books at the second-hand store down the road! Great book quotes by the way and that library is stunning 🙂
    Amy recently posted…Moving to Chiang Mai, Week One in ThailandMy Profile

    • I think books are a part of us – little treasures that we build memories upon. And maybe if you buy a few used books you can leave them for the next expats who rent your apartment.

  • oh, the memories of the hours and hours I have spent in libraries in my life. And that hotel, heaven! Thanks for sharing, what a great place to spend the night.
    Rhonda recently posted…The Ties that BindMy Profile

    • The hotel was very nice – too bad we didn’t have the time to actually sit back, relax and read a book! Too much to do, but one day we’ll return!

  • The Rose reading room looks incredible…but to visit a library and have the room closed and not see a book? That sucks. You know what? Bought a Kindle a few years ago and haven’t used it. I just can’t get into it. Give me a real book any day. Shame that reading is on the way out…

    Frank (bbqboy)
    Frank recently posted…Wild, Wacky Skopje (Macedonia). One of the Strangest Places we’ve beenMy Profile

    • I agree on the love of books, but once I did relent and buy a Kindle, I realized how easy it is to travel with it. But, I “love” books and as I said, I have a collection I will never part with.

  • Yes, you have truly stumbled upon one of New York’s hiddened jems. My husband and I discovered it about 12 years ago and since have spent the week before Christmas enjoying their friendly environment. Of course a trip up the block to the library is a must as well as a visit to the Morgan Library close by.

  • Greetings from Melbourne, Australia I am a library officer in a suburban library here in melbourne, and when we visited NYC 2 years ago, we stayed at the Library Hotel, a wonderful hotel, we took advantage of that reading room daily! I was frustrated that they do not have their hooks in any order though, was itching to perfect order them I also was keen to visit the NY Public library and like you, was amazed, not a book in sight I was going to do a tour but time got away, and the reading room was closed then, it’s still closed now?? We did go across the road to the mid-Manhattan branch though, which is a real library with books, I just had to get my fix, much to my husbands smirking!!

    • Hello Janine, thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment. We saw the library branch across the road, but we were on a time crunch so we didn’t stop in, a good reason to return! The Library Hotel is very special and that’s funny that you wanted to organize the books. I can imagine with so many people coming and going it must be hard to keep them in order.

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We are Patti and Abi. We retired early to live a simpler life, travel the world and hopefully, inspire others to redefine retirement.

 

3 years, 43 days ago!

 

 

 

 

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