Whether a getaway takes you to the beach, the mountains, or a bustling city, leisure travel is one of life’s true luxuries. For readers, there’s something extra enticing about these relaxing “read trips:” The ability to lose yourself in a book. While many accommodations can foster a good reading session, certain destinations take the role seriously and provide the perfect environment for a book-fueled vacation. Today’s read trip: The Library Hotel in New York.
New York City is one of the world’s largest hotel markets, with more than 700 hotels and 100,000 rooms. Travelers have their pick of stays, but each year, avid readers flock to the Library Hotel, a boutique property in midtown that lives up to its name.
Stepping into the Library Hotel is like stepping into a private club — but one where everyone’s welcome and the unifying theme is books. Built in 1913 and converted into its present form in 1999, the hotel features 60 rooms across 10 guestroom floors. Each of those floors is named for one of the 10 categories of the Dewey Decimal system: social sciences, literature, languages, history, math and science, general knowledge, technology, philosophy, the arts, and religion. Fret not: While the Dewey Decimal system is all about organizing books by relative location and relative index, all you have to do to find your room is enlist the elevator.
The rooms range in size from a cozy 200 square feet to a more spacious 350 square feet. They contain everything you’d expect, like king beds and modern bathrooms. But this is the Library Hotel, so you know there will be books and book-related ephemera. Each bed sports a decorative pillow emblazoned with “book lovers never go to bed alone.” Every room is stocked with a collection of 50-150 books that adheres to one distinctive topic within the Dewey Decimal classification of the floor it’s on.
For example, the seventh floor is dedicated to the arts, so its six rooms are given specific themes related to fashion design, music, photography, performing arts, paintings, and architecture. The eighth floor is all about literature, so it embraces the theme with dedicated rooms for mystery, fairy tales, dramatic literature, poetry, classic fiction, and erotica.
Back in the common spaces, Madison & Vine is the hotel’s on-site restaurant. This lovely bistro and wine bar serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. If you don’t want to leave the property, it has everything you need. Assuming you want to venture out, you’re in close proximity to plenty of other bars and restaurants.
The second-floor Reading Room is open 24 hours and provides a great homebase for reading a book of your own or something plucked from the well-stocked shelves. It also serves complimentary tea, coffee, and snacks, so you can power through that page-turner with minimal breaks.
Head to the roof for the Writer’s Den and Poetry Garden. This sunny indoor/outdoor space provides a quiet spot to read and write, or just sit back and enjoy the surrounding city views. At 4 p.m., the adjacent Bookmarks Lounge begins to serve literary-inspired cocktails, with names like The Gatsby, Gone with the Gin, and Dante’s Inferno.
All in, the Library Hotel has about 6,000 books spread among its spaces, curated with assistance from the famed Strand bookstore. So, you’ll always have something to read and shelves to browse. Looking for more books? The hotel is just one block away from the New York Public Library’s flagship location.