The Ultimate Book Lover’s Guide to New York City

Once upon a time, we read books. We don’t mean the kind you swipe or listen to. We’re talking about those sleek rectangular symbols of obsolescence, with their heavenly, substantive smell of ink on paper. But years ago we moved across the country to a modest space, and it wasn’t long before we felt the draw of technology, with its promise of convenience, constant availability and ease of use. Now, aside from the occasional signed copy or special edition to add to our bookshelf, we don’t buy physical books. But that doesn’t mean we don’t love them. Thankfully, beneath the veneer of New York City’s gotta-go culture lies an avid community of readers. Within the bustling city, you can always find quiet spots where people linger, book in hand. You just have to know where to look. Here’s the ultimate book lover’s guide to New York City.

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Looks and Books: Why You Should Visit the Jefferson Market Library


With change constantly occurring around us, Justin and I often find ourselves in a perpetual state of FOMO. There’s always something shiny and new to check out in New York City, from towering new structures to pop-up exhibits. But that also means that we sometimes take the stuff that’s been around for a while for granted. Case in point: the Jefferson Market Library.

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Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars at The Morgan Library & Museum

Ask any English Lit major if they have a take on Authorial Intention/Authority, and they’re bound to have a well-articulated and robust opinion. They may say the author or the author’s experiences or both are immaterial, or they may say they are absolutely essential to the understanding and enjoyment of a literary work. Even if you have an opinion, and regardless of what that opinion happens to be, you’ll likely find the collaboration between the Morgan Library & Museum and the John F Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum – the first major exhibition devoted entirely to Ernest Hemingway – fascinating. Spanning the author’s life, but primarily focused on the periods of the first and second World Wars, the exhibit beautifully articulates the connection between the author and his experiences, both as inspiration for his writing and detriment to his sanity. Among the treasure trove included in the exhibit are manuscripts and transcripts of his major novels, as well as correspondence from such notable literary figures as Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and John Steinbeck. There’s even wartime correspondence from none other than J. D. Salinger, in which he begins his missive with the cheeky salutation, “Dear Papa”.

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