Read Like Lou Reed: Six Books To Start Your Lou Reed Book List

By NYPL Staff
July 2, 2019
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

The Lou Reed Archive is now available for research at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts located at Lincoln Center! The collection arrived with 225 books, which were inventoried and then boxed into what is now The Lou Reed Book Collection. The collection includes books by Lou, books about Lou, and books concerning poetry, art, photography, tai chi, and more.


Lou Reed Books on library cart
Archival boxes of Lou Reed Book Collection

These books are accessible through onsite research; however, if all you want to do is read like Lou, then you might be interested in the list below! These are Library copies of books in the collection, now available to borrow at your local NYPL branch!

Six Books to Start Your Lou Reed Book List 

The Place of Dead Rolls book cover

The Place of Dead Roads by William S. Burroughs

This 1983 novel is the second in a trilogy beginning with Cities of the Red Night  and ending with The Western Lands. If you enjoy the American West, gunslingers, shoot-outs, and intergalactic warfare then this is the book for you.


The Autobiography and Sex Life of Andy Warhol book cover

The Autobiography and Sex Life of Andy Warhol by John Wilcock

John Wilcock, co-founder of the Village Voice, interviews actors Naomi Levine, Taylor Mead, and Ultra Violet; scriptwriter Ronnie Tavel and photographer Gretchen Berg; art dealers Sam Green, Eleanore Ward, and Leo Castelli; poet Charles Henri Ford; and musicians Lou Reed and Nico, all in Warhol's first oral biography. 

Feed-back The Velvet Underground book cover

Feed-Back: The Velvet Underground by Ignacio Julià

Julià followed the band's career for years, interviewing the band members including Lou Reed, John Cale, Moe Tucker, Doug Yule, Nico, and Sterling Morrison. 


Warhol and the Sixties Book Cover

Factory Made:  Warhol and the Sixties by Steven Watson

Interested in Warhol and the icons that passed through his studio,The Factory, during the 1960s? Read about the art, music, films, and photographs created in the studio. 


Brother Ray book cover

Brother Ray : Ray Charles' Own Story by Ray Charles and David Ritz

Ray Charles' story of overcoming the hardships of poverty, blindness, and racism to become a pioneer of soul music. The right read for biography lovers. 





Prepare For Saints Book Cover

Prepare for Saints: Gertrude Stein , Virgil Thomson,  and the Mainstreaming of American Modernism  by Steven Watson

In the 1920s, Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson created an opera that became the longest-running opera in Broadway history. Learn more about the creation of Four Saints in Three Acts and how it revolutionized modernism.





Don't forget to stop by the Library for the Performing Arts  and  get your very own Lou Reed library card! 

Lou Reed Library Card

Find out more about the Lou Reed Papers.