A Cathedral for Books

NYC Public Library Reading Room

We visited the New York City public library reading room on our last trip to the Big Apple. It’s a huge space and beautifully appointed. We didn’t stop there for long, because we were on our way uptown. We tried to be quiet, but the continuous stream of tourists like us had to be a distraction to the much fewer actual readers in the room. When we were there the sun was trying to poke out from behind the clouds, bringing extra light in through its large windows.

Officially known as the Rose Main Reading Room, this Beaux-Arts decorated room has recently reopened after undergoing an extensive renovation. It closed for two-and-a-half years, when a large chunk of its very ornate ceiling came crashing down, fortunately in the middle of the night. The initial restoration plan called for a major redesign, but protests shelved that idea. I’m glad for this, because some things are better left unchanged.

Anne noticed the curved sculpture of the room’s reading chairs. The library sells a miniature version of their iconic reading room chairs for $30. It would be nice to spend an autumn Saturday afternoon sitting there and lose yourself in a book. 

NYC Public Library Reading Room Chairs

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