Ardito calls the selection a “mash up of art, history, new and the old,” with a loose New York City theme. “In each room we have 30 different books and they vary from erotica to photography, New York history, graffiti history, Lower East Side history … And then we have atlases, and we have a book called Wanderlust which is the name of the scent that Red Flower created for us.”
Friends of the hotel, including chefs Mario Batali and David Watluck of Chanterelle sent over their books for the library, but as you can imagine, hotel guests usually have something other than cooking on their minds.
“We definitely move a lot of erotica books,” says Ardito. “And that’s par for the course for the hotel. It’s fun.”
Don’t think you can get away with swiping that saucy volume from your room along with your toiletries, though: “Each book is labeled and accounted for daily.” Steal that copy of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, like one recent guest did, and you’re gonna get charged. Prices range from $15 up to $45 for an “art” book. (And, yes, book thefts have been strong.)