Incredible Reading Rooms Around the World

Photo credit: Philip Greenspun
Photo credit: Philip Greenspun

The Deborah, Jonathan F. P., Samuel Priest, and Adam R. Rose Main Reading Room at the New York Public Library is a stunner. Since 1911, a number of literary figures have sat at the long oak tables: Norman Mailer, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Elizabeth Bishop, E. L. Doctorow, and Alfred Kazin among them. The majestic space is about the size of two city blocks and has 52-foot ceilings decorated with murals. Bronze lamps add a soft, intimate glow to the grand room.