Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, closed
E, M at Fifth Ave.-53rd St.; 6 at 51st St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Basically an archive as much as a store, this small, gallery-like showroom keeps most books either out of reach or behind glass. (The highly-educated staff would flip at the idea of anyone casually leafing through their volumes.) Often gilt and bound in calfskin, some of these delicate antiques date back to the 15th century and appeal most as collectibles. Many books here depict historical feats of conquest, while others, by virtue of their remarkable inscriptions or provenance, are conquests themselves. A copy of 1953’s The Ascent of Everest holds the signature of Sir Edmund Hillary. The collection has a more playful side, too, with bits of Americana ranging from a handwritten legal document signed by Abe Lincoln, to a first edition of The Sun Also Rises ($25,000). First-edition children’s titles such as Winnie the Pooh and a worn volume of Harold and the Purple Crayon worth $6,500 could send any bibliophile rummaging through the attic in search of treasures.