1. The Strand
Located at the corner of Broadway and E12th, The Strand has been New York City’s legendary home of 18 miles of new, used and rare books since 1927.
2. The New York Public Library
Opened in 1911, the New York Public Library is a must-see for anyone who loves history, architecture, and (of course) books. Take advantage of the free exhibits and visit the gift shop for bookish buys.
3. The Library Hotel
Inspired by and organized using the Dewey Decimal system, guestrooms at the Library Hotel contain unique collections of books and art. Besides containing over 6,000 books, the hotel boasts a reading room and a rooftop that houses a Writer’s Den, Poetry Garden, and Bookmarks Lounge — which serves literary-themed drinks.
4. The Morgan Library & Museum
Once the personal library of Pierpont Morgan, the Morgan Library & Museum houses a collection of illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books, and old master drawings and prints collected by Morgan as early as 1890.
5. The Strand Kiosks at Central Park
Located at the corner of 5th Ave and 60th, right along Central Park, The Strand Kiosks are perfect to browse during a stroll.
6. The Round Table Room at The Algonquin Hotel
Made famous by the daily lunches that included Dorothy Parker and other literati of the 20’s and 30’s, this “round table” forever changed American comedy, arts, and theatre. Besides strongly influencing writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, perhaps their greatest contribution was the founding of The New Yorker, which is free to hotel guests.
7. The Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
On top of their well-stocked cafe and schedule of special events, the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe donates 100% of their profits to Housing Works and is staffed almost entirely by volunteers.
8. McNally Jackson Books
Two floors of books, stunning café, AND they arrange their literature by nation. Need we say more?
9. Literary Walk in Central Park
Located at the southern end of Central Park Mall, Literary Walk is lined with statues of Scottish poet Robert Burns, Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott, American poet Fitz-Greene Halleck, and the Bard himself — William Shakespeare.
10. The Champagne Bar at The Plaza Hotel
Get your Gatsby on by sipping some champagne at the famous Plaza Hotel. Not only where Tom Buchanan confronted Gatsby about his feelings for Daisy in The Great Gatsby, The Plaza has appeared in many literary works and is a New York City landmark in its own right.
11. Astor Library
The Astor Library opened its doors in 1849, in the building which is now the home of The New York Shakespeare Festival’s Joseph Papp Public Theater. Once a major resource for reference and research, now Shakespeare in the Park.
12. 192 BOOKS
Located at 10th Ave and 21st, 192 BOOKS carries everything from recent titles to selected rare and out of print books — and they pair art exhibitions with selected titles relating to the artists or theme explored.
13. Edgar Allen Poe Cottage
Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life at Poe Cottage, where he penned many of his most enduring poetical works, including “Annabel Lee,” “The Bells” and “Eureka.” Be still our tell-tale hearts!
14. The Drama Book Shop
Located on W40th Street between 7th and 8th, the Drama Book Shop stocks one of the largest collections of theatrical writing in the United States.
15. The Flatiron Building
Built in 1902, this NYC landmark is now home to Macmillan Books, which includes St. Martin’s Press, Tor/Forge, Picador, and Henry Holt and Company. Walk by to check out the art exhibit in the “prow” of the building, stay for a tea at Argo.
16. St. Mark’s Bookshop
St. Mark’s Bookshop was established in 1977 in New York City’s East Village. Their specialties include Cultural Theory, Graphic Design, Poetry & Small Press Publishing, Film Studies, and Foreign & Domestic Periodicals and Journals.
17. Minetta Tavern
The former site of Black Rabbit speakeasy, which was frequented by literary figures such as John Dos Passos and Eugene O’Neill, Minetta Tavern opened in 1937 and soon attracted clientele such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dylan Thomas, e.e. cummings, Ezra Pound, and Joe Gould.
18. Central Park Carousel
Made famous by The Catcher in the Rye, this carousel is where Holden takes his sister Phoebe at the end of the novel:
“Then the carousel started, and I watched her go round and round… All the kids tried to grap for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she’s fall off the goddam horse, but I didn’t say or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it is bad to say anything to them.”
19. Columbia University
The birthplace of the Beat Generation, Columbia University is responsible for the meeting of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Lucien Carr, Hal Chase and others. Take a stroll through the university’s scenic campus and grab a coffee from a nearby cafe.
20. Tiffany & Co.
Take the advice of Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s:
“What I found does the most good is just to get into a taxi and go to Tiffany’s. It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there.”
21. Washington Square Park
Described as “A marsh. A cemetery. A parade ground. A gathering spot for avant-garde artists.” by NYC Parks, this downtown hub was both the setting for a Henry James novel and a hangout for the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson and Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.
22. The American Poets Corner at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Modeled after a similar alcove at Westminster Abbey in London, the American Poets Corner attracts visitors to read the quotations of honored poets.
23. White Horse Tavern
Called the “high temple of the Alcoholic Artist” by New York Magazine, White Horse Tavern was frequented by the likes of Dylan Thomas (whose portrait hangs in the bar’s middle room), Malcolm Lowry, Anaïs Nin, and James Baldwin. Allegedly, Norman Mailer gave birth to Village Voice over a drink here, and Jack Kerouac was kicked out on numerous occasions.