I had a rough plan for my time in New York City and it consisted of all the things I’d wanted to see on previous visits, but hadn’t got around to. Only a few things on the list were what might you call a classic New York attraction. Numbers #1 and #2 on my list were books, and I knew exactly where to find them.
The New York Public Library on 5th Avenue at 42nd Street, and more specifically, the Rose Main Reading Room on the 3rd floor, was my first stop. It’s exactly how I imagine the Hogwarts library to look! I was there for opening at 10am and several students were already in place with stacks of reference books and a laptop. (Am I the only person still using a notebook and pen?) Visitors are welcome, if quiet, and it was easy to spot the Instagrammers who were merely ticking off a photographic New York check list, rather than standing in awe at such magnificent surroundings. The reminders on the desks are not just for students and researchers. My second book-related stop was the Strand Bookstore on the corner of 12th Street and Broadway. It’s a New York institution, having opened in 1927 and the owners are now onto their third generation.There are an incredible 18 miles of racking in the store and, if I’m honest, I found it all a wee bit overwhelming.I didn’t purchase any books in the end; I couldn’t decide. But I did buy a couple of postcards, one for my journal and one to send to a friend I knew would appreciate being sent a postcard of a bookstore.