Libraries in New York City: A Top 5 for all book lovers

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This one is for the romantics, the book lovers, the story hunters. If you love reading and can’t help but stop at any library you pass by, then this article’s the one for you. New York City is a city full of magical places and things to see. You can’t get bored in the Big Apple, no matter how long you stay – time never seems to be enough! You must have seen a lot of movies with a scene where the main character is alone and emotional in a library, with a book in their hands as they watch the rain pour outside the window. Would you like to recreate that kind of mood? So today we recommend you 5 beautiful libraries in New York!

If you love to see huge shelves full of thousands of books of all sorts and sizes, and if you crave the cozy atmosphere of a library then you’re in the right place! Grab your reading glasses and your academic clothes and be ready to flip through the books, smell their pages, and become part of another story.

1. New York Public Library – Main Branch

Libraries In New York: the NY Public Library
Rose Main Reading Room

First of all, we had to mention none other than the iconic New York Public Library. Although the association has multiple locations all around Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx, you can’t miss a visit to the main building. It’s the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building and the main entrance is located on Fifth Avenue, right in front of Bryant Park. Another entrance is on the 42nd street. Also known as the Main Branch, it’s the result of a combination of two former libraries at the very end of the 19th century.

Today it’s a huge research center and it’s usually open every day from 10 am to 6 pm, with some variations that can be checked daily on the library’s official website. Of course, you can’t miss the Rose Main Reading Room on the 3rd floor, with its beautiful tables and lamps, the fancy chandeliers, and the stunning frescoes on the ceiling. It’s the perfect place to find a peaceful environment where to work, study, or research. You can enter it freely and also book free guided tours. An unmissable stop among the libraries in New York!

2. New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Another of the libraries in New York that you should visit is the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, located on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. This is also one of the branches of the New York Public Library association. The place holds a lot of research materials in the artistic fields of music, theatre, cinema, and more. It also very often hosts art installations that are definitely worth seeing.

It’s open to the public from Monday to Saturday. You can book guided tours where you will be provided with lots of information about all the stored artistic material and exhibitions. Even if you don’t have a membership card, you can still enjoy some time in the reading room on the first floor. Moreover, you can also refresh yourself at the library’s cafe.

3. The Morgan Library & Museum

Moving on, we have this beautiful library and museum. The Morgan Library & Museum was opened in 1902 as a private collection of the financier and banker John Pierpont Morgan. It stores rare manuscripts, precious books, and prints. Today it serves as an important cultural heritage site, and it holds important artworks which are now part of the library’s featured museum.

You can visit it from Wednesday to Sunday, and from 10:30 am to 5 pm. Admission for adults is $22, but there are also special discounts for children, seniors, disabled visitors, and students. The building consists of a lower level and 3 floors. You can book guided tours as well as virtual ones. Make sure to take 2-3 hours to visit it and make the best of your experience! Also don’t forget to book your tickets in advance, as walk-in visits are not guaranteed. If you love books history and art, then you definitely shouldn’t leave New York without visiting it.

4. The Center For Fiction

Libraries in New York: The Center of Fiction

Check out another gem for book lovers, the beautiful Center For Fiction. It was originally known as The Mercantile Library of New York and it was founded in 1821. It has always been a place where creators could find inspiration and discuss; an open space to share their ideas. It has been promoting storytelling for two centuries now! Today, you will find an unmissable fiction collection, as well as rare editions of famous books and classics. The center for Fiction also runs many creative projects such as writing meetings, reading groups, active discussions of modern and historical topics, podcasts, and much more.

For the book lovers and even more for the writers, this is a must-visit among the libraries in New York. Just checking their website will make you feel inspired and enhanced. You can visit it every day during opening hours and also stop by the bookstore and lovely café.

5. New York Society Library

Libraries in New York: Society Library

Now let’s talk about the stunning New York Society Library. We had to mention New York’s oldest library, founded way back in 1754. Its huge community of readers, researchers, and authors is something you must experience during your NYC libraries tour. You must be a member to check out the books which are stored there, but there are still a lot of things open to the public. You can wander through its beautiful interiors and participate in the many events that it hosts. Check their website to find out what’s on and book your entrance!

All these visits will definitely be a cuddle for the heart of a creator and a book lover, always hungry for new inspiration and stories. You will definitely find the ingredients of your next story there.

But remember, never stop exploring new places! We only mentioned five, but if you’re up for some more get ready, go out there and explore the Big Apple with an open heart and mind and be ready to find some more hidden treasures in the city where everything is possible.

New York Public Library’s official website.

Main Branch guided tours.

The Morgan Library & Museum.

New York Society Library.

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