The Seven Best Libraries In America (To Bring A Date)by Chiara Atik on October 21, 2011
When it comes to romantic date spots, the library is a hard place to beat. It’s free, it’s quiet, it’s dark, it’s sexy, and there is endless, endless fodder for (whispered) conversation.
A good library is practically designed for a logical date progression — depending on you and your date’s interest (and nerd-level), you can start by nostalgically going over your favorite picture books from childhood in the Children’s section, and then move on to listening to LPs on the record players in the music room. A reading room is actually way sexy: nothing builds sexual tension better than sitting next to your date and not being allowed to talk. [Read more about why we think a library is the perfect date spot HERE.]
Well, there’s a new listicle making the internet rounds right now about the 35 best libraries in the world, and wouldn’t you know it, some of them are right here in the good ol’ US of A.
Is one of these beauties in your area? It just might be the perfect place to spend a cozy day with your date this winter.
George Peabody Library, Baltimore
Coming in at number 26 is the George Peabody Library in Balitmore, which has been called “a cathedral of books.” It’s the research library at Johns Hopkins University, but it’s open to the public for browsing. This library is frequently rented out for weddings, so you know it’s a pretty romantic spot.
Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City
This library, which is number 22 on the list, has a rooftop garden! How’s that for a perfect Library Date Spot? It also, apparently, has “a large collection of zines.”
The Morgan Library & Museum, NYC
The Morgan Library is sort of like The Cloisters: it’s one of those NYC gems that everyone knows about, but not everyone has been to, so suggesting it will score you major bonus points with any culturally-minded date. It’s full of illuminated manuscripts and drawings by old Masters like Raphael, Michelangelo, and Rembrandt. And it’s so pretty. (Note: The Morgan Library has a $15 admission fee. So it’s not free, but still, a pretty cheap date.)
Seattle Central Library, Seattle
Heck, even walking around the outside of library seems like it’d be a good date! Built in 2004, the library can hold up to 1.45 million books and materials, which means that if someone wrote it, Seattle Central probably has it. Great date for book lovers and architecture aficionados.
New York Public Library, New York
Look, if it was a good enough date spot for Audrey Hepburn, you know this place is chic. The NYPL has a huge collection of culturally and nationally important items, such as the first Gutenberg Bible to come to the United States, and the original Winnie The Pooh stuffed bear which inspired the books. There’s free Wi-Fi, and it’s a great and elegant place to just wander around and explore for the day. (The adjacent Bryant Park has a skating rink during the winter — you could have the wintriest, most romantic date ever!) But before you go, make sure to watch this video from Improv Everywhere.
Boston Public Library, Boston
Hey history and public policy lovers: the BPL is the first Public Library in the United States, and the second largest library in the country. There is so much to see here, from the murals, to the personal collections of important American figures, to the exhibitions which rotate throughout the year. Also? It’s beautiful. Meet here after work, and let books be your apertif before heading somewhere in the city for dinner.
The Library Of Congress, DC
The number one library in the United States is, naturally, The Library of Congress. In terms of shelf space and number of volumes, it’s actually the largest library in the world. The library houses “1 million newspapers from the last three centuries, over 5 million maps, 6 million pieces of sheet music, and more than 14 millions photos and prints.” This means you can use it as a date spot again and again, and never have to revisit the same section!