Hidden away on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, at 53 East 79th Street in an old brownstone, lies The New York Society Library and well worth a visit. But don’t rush over with the intention to check out books. The library is private for members only. Even if you don’t intend to be a member, stop by to see the library and the inside of an old upper east side townhouse. Guests can view the impressive downstairs entrance area and may sit and read in the lobby’s reading room.
The library was founded in 1754 as the City Library with some looting by the British during the Revolutionary War. Back in the day, libraries were private and created with donations from friends and members. The Philadelphia library specifically differentiates itself with its name, the Free Library of Philadelphia since it is free to the public. But if you live nearby, consider joining. Besides thousands of books and research opportunities, they host regular events.
Views from Inside the Lobby & Reading Room
Unsurprisingly, this is New York City’s oldest library, but it moved to a series of locations from downtown Manhattan to its current building in 1937. For more information about this fascinating library including membership: The library’s website
Unfortunately, you won’t find my novel AQUAVIT at this library unless you can request it via Overdrive, the library e-system or find it on Amazon and other e-book retailers.