Bryant Park Reading Room Announces 2019 Summer Season

Bryant Park Reading Room is proud to announce an exciting schedule of free outdoor literary events, featuring nearly 100 scheduled author conversations, family-friendly storytelling, writers workshops, BookClub discussions, crossword and spelling bee competitions, and much more. The Reading Room promises to deliver can't-miss events for readers of all ages and interests all summer long.

Every week, the Reading Room hosts free midday and early evening talks with authors from a variety of disciplines. On Tuesday evenings at 7pm from now though September 24, we welcome award-winning Poets for readings and conversation on the art of poetry.

On Wednesday afternoons at 12:30pm from May 22 through August 21, the Reading Room is joined by Authors in a variety of themes, including Historical Fiction on June 12, Thrillers on July 10 and Romance on July 24.

On Wednesday evenings at 7pm from July 10 to August 28, the Reading Room welcomes Non-Fiction Authors to discuss the study of historical events and circumstances that shifted the balance of America's political system.

On Thursday afternoons at 12:30pm from June 6 to June 27, we are joined by experts in Business and Finance to talk about their recently published works in the field of business and coping with the modern workplace.

On Monday afternoons at 12:30pm from June 17 to August 19, film expert Scott Adlerberg will host Reel Talks, conversations with experts in the field of cinema history. A complete list of attending authors, books to be discussed, and scheduled event dates follows below.

Throughout the summer, Reading Room gives away hundreds of copies of books and comics for free to participants in our Classics BookClub (starting June 4 and produced with Oxford University Press) and our Graphic Novel BookClub (starting June 11 and produced with Penguin Random House). Our first book clubs will feature the classic Louisa May Alcott novel Little Women and a new DC Comics' graphic novel set in the world of Aquaman, Mera: Tidebreaker, by Danielle Paige. Free physical copies of these books will be distributed on site at Bryant Park on a first-come-first-served basis (details below).

Starting June 25, every Tuesday morning at 10:30am and Saturday at noon, Bryant Park will host Family Fun events at the Reading Room. On Tuesdays, Cali Co Cat and Le Carrousel Pals from our world-famous Le Carrousel leap to life for story time readings, appropriate for children aged 2 to 8. Saturdays offer a more eclectic collection of events with musical concert, magic performances, and art experiences for all ages. A complete list of Reading Room's fun Family Events follows below.

Save the date for our super-competitive Reading Room Spelling Bee on Thursday, June 27, starting at 7pm. Crossword enthusiasts will get the chance to sharpen their skills at our Coffee & Crosswords Workshop on Friday, September 6 at 11:30am, hosted by Amy Goldstein from Puzzability and Wall Street Journal Puzzle Editor Mike Shenk. Put your skills to the test at our Coffee & Crosswords Tournament on Saturday, September 7 at 10:30am.

For would-be writers, on Thursday evenings at 7pm from July 11 to August 29, the Reading Room will offer a series of focused Writers Workshops with emphases on screenwriting, the essentials of the short story, creative essay creation and a special Teen Writer Workshop on September 14 at 12:30pm.

During non-event hours, the Reading Room gives visitors access to print editions of The New York Times, New York Post, The Daily News, Wall Street Journal, El Diario, Financial Times, and many more (from our partner Mitchell's Newspaper Delivery); plus, a selection of popular magazines including The New Yorker, Vogue, Vanity Fair, People, Time, Fortune, Men's Health, Gourmet, and The Harvard Law Review; and over 500 popular books in the fields of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, graphic novels, young adult fiction, and classics.

An adjacent mini-sized section of tables and chairs provides a home for children ages 2 to 9 to explore our considerable selection of children's literature. The Reading Room is served by an on-site coordinator who helps source available books and periodicals and informs visitors about upcoming programming.

The first iteration of the Reading Room began in 1935, in the midst of the Great Depression, as a public service on behalf of the New York Public Library, designed for anyone unable to show the proof of address required to get a library card. The Reading Room closed during World War II but was reopened by Bryant Park Corporation in 2003 to provide a casual, kid-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 without IDs, lines, or any hassles everyone is welcome!

The Reading Room's comfortable, shaded seating space located behind the New York Public Library, just off 42nd Street and 6th Avenue is currently open to visitors daily, 11am to 7pm through mid-October. The compete Reading Room event schedule follows but all events are subject to change; for the most up-to-date scheduling, please visit

Stay tuned for weekly updates and highlights of upcoming Reading Room events all summer long.

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