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Idlewild Books

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12 W. 19th St., New York, NY 10011 40.739189 -73.991748
nr. Fifth Ave.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-414-8888 Send to Phone

  • Reader Rating: Write a Review
  • Price Range: ($$) Mid-Range
  • Products & Services: Books
Photo by Laura Klain Carton

Official Website


Mon-Fri, 11:30am-8pm; Sat-Sun, noon-7pm

Nearby Subway Stops

F, M at 23rd St.; N, R at 23rd St.

Payment Methods

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Product Guide


  • Books


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.