The “Literary Man”, the new bookish hotel
Bookish hotels have come to stay. Or so it seems from the growing number of hotels with some relation to the literature world which have popped up in both sides of the Atlantic. In the US the best known is probably the Library Hotel in downtown New York, a boutique hotel with books in its walls and rooms, with an unique organizing principle. Each of its ten guest floors has a theme, designated after a major category of the Dewey Decimal Classification (the 5th floor, for example, is the 500s, the Sciences), with each room as a subcategory or genre, such as Mathematics (Room 500.001) or Botany (Room 500.004). Also in Minneapolis there is the Commons Hotel situated in the campus of the University of Minnesota with book decoration all around, a “small” library of some 5000 titles, and with a “book butler”! An in Oregon there is the Sylvia Beach Hotel where each room is named after a famous writer and the decoration is related to one of his or her famous books.
In Europe, the best known bookish hotel is probably the Hotel Apostrophe, in Paris, whose decoration, both exterior and interior, is also related to books and the printed world. Then there is the Gallery Hotel Art in central Florence with its small but cozy library and the Crime and Punishment Radisson Sonya Hotel in Saint Petersbourg, whose decoration is thoroughly based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment”. And, since quite recently, there is a new one, the “The Literary Man”, in the medieval town of Obidos, Portugal, which until some 100 years ago was a monastery. With 30 rooms it boosts a library of 22.000 books (which makes it the bookish hotel with the largest library in the world) but its short term aim is to increase that to 100.000 books!