Idlewild Books

Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, New York
(24 Reviews)

Idlewild Books was founded in 2008 by David Del Vecchio, a former United Nations press officer. The name Idlewild was taken from the original name for New York International Airport, which was renamed JFK in December 1963. We even have some stained glass and chairs from the original Idlewild Airport in our store!

Idlewild is an independent Manhattan bookstore specializing in travel and world literature and organized by country. We also host language classes (French, Spanish and Italian) and have a wide selection of books in French and Spanish.

Ranked "Best of New York" by New York Magazine, the school classes are taught in our beautiful bookstore, not a stuffy classroom. All our courses are taught by native speakers who know their culture and language inside and out, but have several years' teaching experience so they're are also familiar with the challenges typically faced by English speakers. You'll be surprised how much you'll learn in just eight weeks.

Idlewild carries a range of guidebooks to suit the needs and tastes of every traveler and budget. We believe that a novel, travelogue or history can be just as valuable a key to a place as any guidebook and our well read, well traveled staff is happy to make reading recommendations for any traveler, book lover, or gift giver.

Reviews of Idlewild Books

(24 Reviews)


Attended: Italian Intermediate

The amount of conversation was helpful but Stefano did not reach out to everyone to participate and would sometimes talk to one person for 10 minutes excluding other students in the class. Could have incorporated more grammar review.

Lauren W.

Attended: Spanish Intermediate

I really enjoyed this class. The teacher was genuine and enthusiastic and the location was ideal. I felt that I learned a lot. The only thing I would recommend is implementing a test to gauge the skill level of students before classes start.


Attended: Spanish Advanced Beginner

Eduardo is an amazing teacher, he makes learning a new language fun and not intimidating.


Attended: Italian Advanced Beginner

I definitely learned a lot in this class, and I loved the atmosphere of the location, but it all seemed a little disorganized -- we bought the textbook and didn't use it except for homework exercises (which we didn't need to turn in, since the answers are in the book); instead, we used a lot of online resources the instructor liked. The class didn't bear a whole lot of resemblance to the syllabus, and sometimes it felt like the instructor was making things up as he went along. On days when we had to jump around from site to site on our phones, I didn't like it at all (though it did introduce us to good resources for future reference); on days when we focused on conversation, it was great.


Attended: Spanish for Beginners

Great class, the teacher is excellent, he is very motivating and makes learning a new language fun.


Attended: Italian Advanced Beginner

We covered some useful material, but the class is a bit disorganized.

Janine C.

Attended: Italian Intermediate

Excellent class - teacher very professional and engaging. The space is wonderful - charming.

Kathryn L.

Attended: Italian Advanced Beginner

Stefano is the best! Grazie! He made class fun and interesting


Attended: French for Beginners

Went really slow

Taylor C.

Attended: Spanish Film and Conversation

Taylor C. gave this class 4 out of 5 CourseHorse stars.

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