Books do furnish a room, even this room without walls on the quiet(er) north edge of the park. Cell-phoning and loud music-playing are proscribed, but eating and drinking are within bounds. And if you like reading about eating and drinking while lunching, here's just the place. Getting your head around the Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, however — it's the book on the end, the one propping up the other books — will require multiple lunch dates.
Bryant Park Reading Room
Near the south side of 42nd St. between Fifth and Sixth Aves., New York
Daily, 11:00-7:00, except during bad weather and special events