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Hotel Reading Rooms

Hotel Reading Rooms image
Parent Issue
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OCR Text

In one respect at least New York differs from all other American cities, and that is in regard to the iinportance of the reading rooms of its hotels. There are iu New York 229 hotels, exclusive of apartment houses with restaurant attaehments. Every hotel in New York or elsewhere - every genuine hotel, that is - has a reading room, and in it are to be seen gathered the most important acoessories of a hotel - the newsstand, the telegraph office, the telephone office and the railroad and steamboat ticket office. In a country hotel the reading room is the seat of great activity, and it seems to be the bounden duty of the transient male patrons of the hotel, as well as the regular male boarders, to be in the reading room as long a time as possible between meals, and usually late comer is obliged to wait his turn for a seat at one of the writing desks or tables or for a chance to read one of the newspapers which are kept on file. According to the observations of all hotel men thronghout the country, the smaller the town the more important the hotel reading room ; the larger the town the less important the hotel reading room. It is apparently in corroboration of this rule that tho reading rooms of most New York hotels, though furnished in attractive style and well calsulated to serve the convenience of guests, are usually deserted, or if not deserted are patronized chiefly by persons not guests of the hotel. In other words, men not stopping at the hotel, but meeting f riends in its main corridor, utilize the conveniences of the reading room. Added to these are a few of the transient guests, who for the most part come to New York on business or pleasure from great distances, and especially from interior towns. Boston men, Philadelphia.nen, Baltimore men and Buffalo men are not great patrons of the reading rooms of New York hotels, but transient guests from the small towns of the country are, and someof them git for hours at a time conning the back √ľumbers of newspapers or writing mochanically and then nervously destroying letters to friends and relations. The paradosical thing about hotel reading rooms in New York is that though ostensibly maintained for the use and convenience of the hotel guests they are at the service in nearly every case of persons who are not only not guests of the hotel, but who, furthermore, are resident New Yorkers. Nearly every hotel in the city has a large number of patrons who are kuown as "regulars," who stay for several months at a time, and who are seen very little in the hotel corridors or in the reading room. Occasionally a patr√≥n of a New York hotel, porhaps one of its oldest guests, will find it necessary to write a letter or to consult a newspaper file, and when he does he is usually coinpelled to wait until an outside person not a guest is ready to take his departure. -


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