He would walk on Library Way, reading the author plaques embedded in the sidewalk every few feet, find shade in the shadow of the grandiose New York Public Library on the next block, revel in the rare manuscript collection at the Pierpont Morgan Library a few steps to the left and sleep in a book-lined room at The Library Hotel....
The Library Hotel is a civilizing oasis of comfort and care. Vacant for six years prior to its current reincarnation, the former office building, constructed in the 1920s, was renovated into a boutique hotel of 60 rooms....
Within the 14-story hotel, floor and room numbers are dispensed with and replaced by Dewey Decimal code. Following the traditional library cataloging system, each of the 10 floors corresponds to one of the 10 categories originated by Melvil Dewey. Floors are devoted to math & science, technology, philosophy and literature among others. Upon each floor are subclassifications.
On the religion floor, room number 1200.005 is devoted to Native American culture and spirituality. The titles on the bedside floor-to-ceiling shelves include Crazy Horse by Larry McMurtry, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen and Southern Cheyenne Women's Songs by Virginia Giglio. A colorful print of a Native American topped with a war bonnet adorns the wall between two large windows.
Along East 41st in front of the hotel is Library Way, where 96 bronze plaques embedded in the sidewalk celebrate renowned authors and their words.I'm particularly intrigued by The Library Hotel, but with room rates beginning at $379 per night, I'm not likely to ever experience it. But who said that a little piece of heaven would be cheap?
The former New York City resident and essayist turned Maine saltwater farmer E.B. White is memorialized with this witticism, ``I don't know which is more discouraging, literature or chickens.''
Library Way may be followed to Patience and Fortitude, the two lions guarding the entrance of The New York Public Library. Inside are 88 miles of shelves, an extensive rare book and map collection and a glass case enclosing one of the few extant Guttenberg Bibles.