Your Room Is Booked
In a DVD Age, Literary Hotels Go Back to the Classics
By Carol McCabe, Special to The Washington Post, Sunday, April 1, 2007; Page P01
I should have called ahead. By the time I checked in, Journalism was gone, as was Geography and Travel. The choice was down to Germanic Languages or Philosophy. That's how I came to spend a recent night in Room 1100.003, in the company of Messrs. Kant, Hegel, Voltaire and Sartre, with George Soros lying on the nightstand.
At Manhattan's urbane Library Hotel at Madison Avenue and 41st Street, guest floors and rooms are keyed to classifications of the Dewey Decimal System, devised by Melvil Dewey in 1876 and familiar to anyone who has borrowed a library book since then. The room you get determines the subject of the reading material on built-in shelves. My 75 volumes included Kierkegaard's "The Concept of Anxiety" and Aristotle's "On Coming-to-Be and Passing Away" -- in Greek.
But book lovers can still find literary lodgings thriving across America, as a list of some of our favorites (see Page P4) proves. Think of it not as a trend, but as a counter-trend.