Libraries & book stores: Sights & Blights


The New York Public Library
The Rose Reading Room, the Humanities Library—the whole place is charged with bookish elegance. Fifth Ave at 42nd St

The National Arts Club
They make you wear a tie for a reason. 15 Gramercy Park South

Issue Projects Room
This space in Brooklyn’s Old American Can Factory has an urban-monastery aesthetic. And their reading events are way better than church. 232 3rd St


Borders Kips Bay
The interior is passable, but who wants to venture beyond the strip-mall facade? 576 Second Ave
Cyberspace can be ugly too.

New York Public Library, Main Branch
Though it holds treasures, this dingy eyesore’s shelves are maddeningly disorganized. 455 Fifth Ave