How would you like to steal the reading list off Salman Rushdie’s table? As it turns out, you need not go through all that trouble. The Booker-winning author will be selecting books for guests putting up at an upscale hotel in New York. So the next time you find yourself with nothing to read on your travels to Manhattan, check into the Standard Hotel, where rooms will come equipped with 13 celebrated American novels that have been handpicked by Rushdie. Already, rooms at the standard hotel house high definition TVs and iPod docks. And now, with the Rushdie reading list on offer, there is something for the bookworm as well.
The move is set to coincide with the upcoming World Voices Festival of International Literature, which is being organized by literary and human rights group PEN. Lazlo Jakab Orsos, director of the lit fest, has revealed that the books are second-hand copies from Housing Works. The latter is an organization whose functions include running thrift stores to raise funds for AIDS patients and the homeless. So if you thought that the Standard Hotel would be stocking fresh copies of luxury books, you are wrong.
Rushdie’s picks include a number of classic American works. You will find Walt Whitman’s poetry collection, Leaves of Grass, William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Saul Bellow’s Humboldt’s Gift on the list. There are no works by Rushdie however. Rushdie gets to pick because he is the chairman of the 2011 PEN festival.