June 10, 2014

One Glorious Night At The Library Hotel NYC

It’s safe to say I’m digging books at the moment. Well, I always have, but recently I’ve actually MADE TIME to read. I couldn’t believe how many amazing-and-kind-of-life-changing books where hanging round on my bookshelf at home. So many books that weren’t being read, and to think of the time it took for the author to pen them, it was sort of rude really that I hadn’t even opened the front cover of so many. I decided I would go on a reading mission during my week’s holiday and it’s inspired me to keep it up. Books have the power to lift me out of a bad mood, to inspire me to do something new, or different, to make me (hopefully) a better, more-rounded and open-minded person. Books open my eyes to other opinions, states of mind, other people’s dreams, futures, pasts, a whole range of emotions and tangible pieces of advice. I genuinely genuinely believe the more you read, the easier life gets. Knowledge is power. Well, your own kind of power. 

That’s the thing isn’t it: people always complain they don’t they have time. “How do you have TIME to blog?” “How do you have TIME to read?” Personally I find it a bit weird when people ask that. How do you not? I believe we should always make time for the things that make us feel happy and fulfilled. Even if it means getting up an hour earlier to get the bus instead of the tube, or going home and getting to bed to read instead of watching something shit on TV that you’re just watching to watch something. 

Anyway, I digress. Back to BOOKS. So I had a lovely opportunity last week to review a hotel in New York. And not just any hotel Ladies and Gentlemen, no, a hotel that was centred around books, books, books and reading and sleeping. The most dreamy hotel in the whole of NYC (if you ask me) because they strictly ENFORCE reading. Imagine that – going to a hotel when they practically make sure you read, by surrounding you with an extremely relaxing environment and gorgeous, fully-stacked bookshelf and outside space.  The hotel, situated on Madison Avenue was called the Library Hotel and it was an absolute delight. I was in my element, basically sleeping in library (that had lovely plush beds and bathrooms).

I arrived there on Saturday looking a bit worse of wear as I’d been drinking beers and Prosecco on a friend’s rooftop for pretty much the whole afternoon (and I had the sunburn to prove it), and feeling a bit sad that my trip was coming to an end. It was so lovely to be able to arrive at hotel like this one, with a lovely doorman who showed me to my room. To have some proper chill out time and a chance to properly catch up with some reading and time to “think”.

It was a good job I had discovered the most AMAZING bookstore before I arrived at the hotel, which was McNally Jackson on Prince Street, in East Village (right by where they film GIRLS, I die). I instantly knew it was my happy place. It’s a small independent bookstore which had some really cool people working there and there was a book signing going on and an exciting atmosphere for such a small shop. I could have spent a FORTUNE in there because all the books looked so interesting. I definitely enjoyed being surrounded by American literature and new releases that weren’t yet in the UK, and all of the magazines too: Fast Company, NY magazine, Forbes, TIME etc. Yeah I absolutely loved it in there. 

I finished five books during my stay at the hotel: “#GirlBoss” by Sophia Amorous (my full review on my blog is here), “Men Explain Things To Me” by Rebecca Solnit (a funny academic essay on dinner party sexism and “mansplaining”); “This Is Water” by David Foster Wallace (something that makes you think about daily life differently); Thrive: The Third Metric To Redefining Success by Arianna Huffington (full of cheeky puns about “sleeping your way to the top”, aka literally you need to GET MORE SLEEP to succeed); “Mistakes I Made At Work: 25 Women Reflect On What They Got of Getting Wrong” edited by Jessica Bacal (which genuinely puts your mind at rest about f*cking things up, just don’t make the same mistakes again. It also includes learnings from Anna Holmes founder of Jezebel and Book of Jezebel – I die). 

I had the most amazing solo dinner, an outside patio at Madison and Vine armed with a peach champagne cocktail, chicken salad and garlic sauteed spinach and had a very merry time reading the New York magazine, in which I fell in love with Jenny Slate (the creator of Marcel the Shell) and a big story in The Cut on Sophia Amoruso called “Be Bossy”, luckily this filled the void once I’d finished the book (obsessed). I agree, be bossy.

A massive thank you to the Library Hotel for allowing me to relax in your wonderful book sanctuary, allowing me to the peace and quiet to write some ideas for my own book as well soak up five full books and escape for a whole day and night (oh and for the lovely chocolates on arrival). 

Also if you want to see how friggin awesome the Library Hotel NYC are, here’s there recent video to Pharrell’s “Happy”. 

Visit the Library Hotel here: www.libraryhotel.com
Twitter: @libraryhotel

 

  • Got to agree, ‘This Is Water’ I loved, totally uplifting. I only recently discovered DFW – all be it a troubled soul, what an utterly cool guy he was! Wish I’d had this handed to me donkeys ago.
    Great review, def gonna peek at the library hotel next visit to ny.

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