I’m a woman on a mission.

Last year I really only went to one library and sat in one particular seat. Having to reserve specific seats, I found one I liked and stuck to it. This year library spontaneity is back, baby, and I was excited to explore the many libraries this institution has to offer. However, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, and rather than walk in blind, I asked around for recommendations. I will now whittle down these picks to determine the ultimate library spot. 


Butler 2nd Floor Nooks vs. Milstein 3rd Floor Big Tables

My experiences with Butler in the past were not ideal. The first time I was in the big room, I sneezed and someone quickly turned their head and looked at me, so I usually avoid Butler if I can. However, I had never been in the nooks on the second floor, and I have to say it was a lovely experience. I might… like Butler? I got a lot of work done and I also just love the vibe of sitting around lots of books. Who is to say if I will read those books, but it is a comforting vibe nonetheless. Milstein, on the other hand, is an old friend and I love her dearly. The window tables on the third floor are lovely. It was a sunny day when I went, so the light was impeccable. I liked being able to spread out, and even though I didn’t know the people around me, I felt a sort of communal studying experience. Overall, as much as I enjoyed Butler, there is nothing like an abundance of natural light, so the 3rd floor tables in Milstein advance on. 

WINNER: Milstein 3rd Floor Big Tables

NoCo 2nd Floor Cubicles vs. Avery Window Tables

I had never been in NoCo, and it took me a hot minute to figure out where I was going and what NoCo stood for. It is the Northwest Corner building, who knew? Anyway, I liked NoCo fine. It was not my favorite, and it might just be the lack of books surrounding me. The chairs were very comfortable. It won’t be my first choice of library, but it is a very nice option. This was also my first trip to Avery, but it will not be my last. I had way too much fun. I grabbed a seat by the window, and I love how the tables feel somewhat secluded, but you still get a big table experience. I was enveloped by books, and it felt the closest to being in the library in Beauty and the Beast that I had ever experienced. There was a lot of light as well, which as we now know is key. For me, Avery was the clear winner. I am a changed woman. 

WINNER: Avery Window Tables

Milstein 2nd Floor Window Seat 12 vs. Milstein 2nd Floor Window Carrels

My seat of choice last year was window seat 10, so I already knew the window seats in Milstein were great.  I had never ventured to the carrels on the same floor. Those are surely the best located carrels in New York City, I love them. However, I did miss the people watching opportunities that window seat 12 has to offer. It is a nice break from long readings, and instead of looking at my phone, I look out towards the people. I feel like my cat, it’s great. I certainly will be returning to the carrels, but in this competition, the chairs win. 

WINNER: Milstein 2nd Floor Window Seat 12

CV Starr East Asian Balconies vs. Lehmann Big Rooms

I had never been to either of these libraries, and both were great. I got a lot of stuff done in Lehmann, but the balconies in CV Starr are magnificent. I once again felt like my cat ruling over the rest of the library. The tables have swanky lamps that made me feel like I was burning the midnight oil even though it was 10 in the morning. I didn’t have a view of the window, but the stained glass was also beautiful, and I was once again surrounded by books. CV Starr was such a cozy experience. 

WINNER: CV Starr Balconies


Milstein 3rd Floor Big Tables vs. Avery Window Tables

In the battle of the big tables, Avery wins because of the books. Not to beat a dead horse, but I was in a womb of books. 

WINNER: Avery Window Tables

Milstein 2nd Floor Window Seat 12 vs. CV Starr Balconies

I loved those balconies, but the chairs in Milstein are so comfortable, and I had a better people-watching-view.  

WINNER: Milstein 2nd Floor Window Seat 12


Avery Window Tables vs. Milstein 2nd Floor Window Seat 12

A hard decision, but the Avery tables beat out Milstein window seat 12. Maybe it’s the new experience of studying in Avery, but it wins. I hope this doesn’t change anything about window seat 12’s relationship with me. Let me be the one to tell her that she didn’t win. She should hear it from me. 


Starr Balconies via Bwog Archives