- READER REVIEWS
Mon-Fri, 11:30am-8pm; Sat-Sun, noon-7pm
Nearby Subway Stops
F, M at 23rd St.; N, R at 23rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
David Del Vecchio was a UN press officer and a frequent jet-setter when he had the inspiration for a bookshop designed especially for travelers. He left his job at the UN in the spring of 2008 and opened this spacious second-floor shop in the elegant former parlor floor of an 1880s-era home. He christened the store Idlewild (the pre-1963 moniker of JFK Airport) and filled the space with various-sized globes and maps. Even the chairs are salvaged from the old American Airlines international terminal, as is the slab of stained glass behind the register. Unlike typical subject-segmented bookstores, Del Vecchio arranges his stock by country: Shoppers jetting to Italy can pick up a guidebook, map, novel, translated poetry collection, cookbook, and children's book based on the region from a single shelf. The section on Spain not only displays guidebooks for Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville, but also literature set in Spain, best-selling Spanish authors, and even murder mysteries (which Del Vecchio says provide a taste of the city’s juicy underbelly). Near the register, a wall of travel accessories tackles non-literary needs, stocked with international power adapters, carry-on bags, and luggage tags.