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The 12 coziest reading nooks in NYC

Written by
Taya Kenny
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Even though winter can be the worst, you can make the most of the chilly weather by curling up with a book at one of NYC’s many cozy spots. Whether you find comfort in a big leather couch and blankets, clean minimal lines and lots of plants or a just a big glass of red wine, there is a spot in NYC that will get your hygge on in no time.
 
Of the multiple locations around NYC, the DUMBO/Vinegar Hill is undoubtedly our favorite. Large enough to (almost) guarantee a spot, even on snow days so heavy it feels like your whole neighborhood is curled up inside. The interior combines a rustic, industrial vibe with more home-y elements, like a a vinyl record player. 
 
Open since 1927, this Greenwich Village haunt claims to be the home of the original cappuccino due to its early adoption of the espresso machine. This is a great spot for art-lovers, as it contains portraits and woodworks dating back to the 16th Century. Perfect for those days when it’s just too cold to go to the Met.
 
What is better than curling up with a good book? Curling up with a good book while a cat curls up in your lap. Even if your landlord has forbidden pets in your building, get your kitty fix along with food, beer, sake, and wine options. Sit out on the "Catio", grab a glass of rosé and your favorite book, and have the purrrfect day. 
 
Stepping into this Midtown treasure (formerly known as the “Mercantile Library”) is like stepping into a different decade. Busts of historical figures line rows and rows of ceiling-high stacks that would make even Belle from Beauty and the Beast envious. Membership is $55/year but provides access to some very exclusive fiction editions, as well as invites to hundreds of events, reading groups and writing workshops led by writers and scholars annually.
 
5. The Keep 
Located directly on the Ridgewood/Brooklyn border, this beautiful bar was a project of owner Stephanie Castillo, who had hundreds of antiques hidden away in storage for over a decade. She opened the bar as a way of displaying them while creating a space for the community to come and work or play. The outcome is a breathtaking space with comfy antique couches, large wooden round tables. Have some coffee and snacks all day, then switch to beer at 5 pm sharp.
 
6. Draught 55 - The inside of this Lexington Ave pub is decorated with fairy lights, shrubbery, big wine barrels, and a glass ceiling ideal for watching the snow fall. Enjoy some food, or try out their rotating menu of craft beers, of which they boast over 42 drafts and 35 bottles and cans.
 
7. Jadis Wine bar - Nestled downstairs from Rivington street, this Nolita wine bar greets you with lots of couches, tucked-away candlelit tables, and even a stack of their own books if you left yours at home. They even have a dictionary, in case you’re finally trying to crack the copy of Ulysses you’ve been chipping away at since college. Come for a happy hour reading session 5-7 pm on Tues, Weds, or Thursday. Because let’s face it, you’re not going to get a seat home on the subway.
 
This Soho favorite is a great way to get comfy while also supporting this organization committed to healing those affected by HIV/AIDS. Enjoy the 20-foot, tin-plated ceilings and the floor to ceiling book stacks, and purchase a new read knowing all proceeds are going towards this great cause. When you’ve gotten your fill of reading, pop next door to their thrift store, or stay for one of the regular events, which ranges from comedy nights to open mic readings.
 
What goes better with a cup of coffee and a book than a freshly made piece of pie? Get a slice a la mode, sit down at one of the big wooden tables, try to find a spot next to the radiator, and you’re set for the day. They even have a secondary counter in the Brooklyn Public Library, proving that books and apple pie are a pretty unbeatable pairing.
 
10. Union Hall 
Take a stroll down from Prospect Park to this neighborhood treasure, which has a roaring fireplace and stacks of books on the wall. There is even bocce ball for when you need to give your eyes a rest and move your body.
 
Satiate your inner geography nerd by surround yourself with antique globes, massive chandeliers, and thousands of ancient maps. 
 
This bohemian East Village joint is basically the love child of a Grateful Dead concert and your grandma's living room, complete with bike parking, mason jars, shabby-chic decor, and their own brand of coffee served in signature orange cups. For warmer months, there is a backyard you can park yourself up and enjoy an all-day $18.50 brunch that includes an entree and your choice of beer, mimosa, coffee or OJ. All this literature can work up an appetite you know. 
 

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