Any bibliophile can tell you about the importance of environment when it comes to reading. Full of cozy reading nooks and featuring the sort of architecture that inspires novels, the most Instagrammable libraries in New York are the perfect spot to increase both your literary knowledge and your followers.
You’ll want to start snapping before even entering the New York Public Library, which is guarded by two noble-looking marble lions. Inside of this Manhattan landmark, you’ll find more worth photographing, including the crystal chandelier-equipped Rose Reading Room and stacks holding some 50 million titles.
Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch
It’s easy to see why book-lovers favor the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch; the Grand Army Plaza-adjacent building is an open book— literally. Decorated with gold foil designs and 15 bronze sculptures depicting figures from American literature, this Art Deco structure is designed to resemble an open book.
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
It should come as no surprise that New York’s most glamorous library shares space with venues including the Metropolitan Opera House and the Juilliard School. Located within the Lincoln Center complex, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts boasts displays featuring artifacts such as costumes and posters, a collection of recordings, vintage playbills, and more, and of course, that iconic Lincoln Center facade.
Two-time U.S. poet laureate Stanley Kunitz cofounded this national library, which features the largest independent poetry collection open to the public in America. The 11,000-square-foot Poets House is the best place in New York City to curl up with a book— after posing by the house’s antique school desks and old-fashioned birdcage, that is.
New York Society Library
Ironically, it’s the city’s oldest book lender, the 1754-founded New York Society Library, that has all the makings of an Instagram hit. Early 20th-century mansion architecture? Check. Winding marble staircases? Check. Some 300,000 volumes on its shelves? You get the picture— literally.
While the famed Explorers Club is more known for its taxidermy relics and illustrious members, the Upper East Side spot is also home to an exploration-themed library. Conquering the more than 13,000 titles, 5,000 maps, and historical newspaper clippings and photographs related to exploration is a mission worthy of any adventurer. Don’t forget to document it.
Jefferson Market Library
Your followers may find it hard to believe that the Gothic clock tower and ornate embellishments in your photo of the Jefferson Market Library belong not to a lofty church, but to the New York Public Library. Originally built from 1875 to 1877 and used as a courthouse, the library needs to be seen (and geotagged!) to be believed.