The Bryant Park Reading Room’s comfortable, shaded seating space – located behind the New York Public Library, just off 42nd Street and 6th Avenue – is open to visitors daily, 11am to 7pm, now through mid-October. The first iteration of Bryant Park’s Reading Room began in 1935, in the midst of the Great Depression, as a public service on behalf of the New York Public Library. The Reading Room closed during World War II but was reopened by Bryant Park Corporation in 2003 to provide a casual, family-friendly, open-air space for readers of all ages to enjoy an outdoor moment of literary peace in the bustling city. Now entering the seventeenth year of its modern era, the annual opening of the Reading Room’s bright yellow umbrellas is a signal for the beginning of months of learning and fun for all of New York’s reading public. All events and experiences at the Reading Room are free of charge and open to all.
The Reading Room gives visitors daily access to print editions of The New York Times, New York Post, The Daily News, Wall Street Journal, El Diario, Financial Times (courtesy of Mitchell’s Delivery), and many more; a selection of popular magazines including The New Yorker, Vogue, Vanity Fair, People, Time, Fortune, Men’s Health, Gourmet, and The Harvard Law Review; plus, over 500 popular books in the fields of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, graphic novels, young adult fiction, and classics classics that have all been a part of our literary series. An adjacent miniature-sized section of tables and chairs provides personalized space for children ages 2-9 to explore our considerable library of children’s literature. The Reading Room is served by an on-site coordinator who helps source available books and periodicals.