Albertine Bookstore in The French Embassy
The bookstore is tucked inside the French Embassy on 5th Ave overlooking Central Park. The building itself is famous: the Payne Whitney, one of the few Guilded-Age architectural buildings left in the city and built by Stanford and White.
Albertine is full of large fabric-covered lamps making you feel you've entered someone's private home library meets Parisian salon. The best part is the upstairs reading room that has one of the best ceilings to lounge under on comfy leather couches.
The store was conceived by "Cultural Services of the French Embassy" to offer "the largest selection of French literature in the United States, with (get ready to swoon) more than 14,000 titles from 30 French-speaking countries." (TimeOut)
English and french books are peppered throughout. The reading room upstairs has an extensive collection of French children's books and graphic novels which peak the illustration lovers attention. There are cookbooks, art books, and even daily french periodicals, too.
Albertine 972 Fifth Avenue Monday–Thursday, Saturday: 11am–7pm Friday: 11am–10pm Sunday: 11am–6pm