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Alone Time – A Book by Stephanie Rosenbloom

Welcome! I’m Stephanie Rosenbloom, a travel writer for The New York Times and other publications. I write about slow travel, solo travel, style, design, and the ways technology can help or hurt our experiences. I’m also an author with Viking Books

You can find out about my bookAlone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude, and what others are saying about it, here…

Credit: ANGIE WANGvia The New York Times Book Review: 73 Books to Read While the Sun Is Out and the Days Are Long

The New York Times Book Review included ALONE TIME in its Summer Reading List.

Liesl Schillinger wrote:

Stephanie Rosenbloom, a travel columnist for The New York Times, set out on her own for a more practical purpose. Learning that increasing numbers of Americans were taking vacations-for-one, she decided to test-drive the trend in some of the world’s most sociable cities. In so doing, she not only dispels the stigma attaching to solo travel, she debunks the myth of the “supposed horror of solo dining.”

In Paris, she picnicked amid the promenades of the Luxembourg Gardens, feasted on oysters at the Closerie des Lilas and ambled through Balzac’s home, Hampl-style. In Istanbul, she lolled in the steamy Cemberlitas hamam. In Florence, she communed at the Uffizi with the most ogled woman in the world, Botticelli’s Venus. “I liked to be alone in Constantinople,” Greta Garbo said. So, Rosenbloom discovered, did she. But she also explored New York, her hometown, as if she were a tourist: “Savoring the moment, examining things closely, reminiscing — these practices are not strictly for use on the road. They’re for everyday life, anywhere.” 

The 19th annual J.P. Morgan Reading List selected ALONE TIME as one of 10 titles.

The company explains that its list “highlights works that look to the past, present and future to deepen our engagement with the world as we know it today. These 10 nonfiction titles entertained, challenged and above all inspired client advisors across our organization.”

Travel can be a boundless source of wonder and personal renewal—and for Stephanie Rosenbloom, that magic is only magnified when you go it alone,” the J.P. Morgan Reading list said. “In Alone Time, the celebrated New York Times travel columnist espouses the virtues of solitude, but in an entirely new context. Mixing her own analysis with insights from psychologists, sociologists, artists and innovators throughout history, Rosenbloom documents the restorative qualities of her 12-month tour of Paris, Istanbul, Florence and New York. If you’re looking to reconnect with yourself and the world around you, this utterly unique reading experience will prove an inspiration.”


If you’d like, you can read an excerpt from the book that was published in the Travel section of The New York Times.

The excerpt, about dining alone in Paris, was also included in the paper’s “11 of Our Best Weekend Reads.”

You might also enjoy this excerpt on Medium.


Additional Praise for ALONE TIME

Real Simple magazine put ALONE TIME on its short list of “Five Books That Won’t Disappoint” and named it to its “Best Books of 2018.”

Time magazine said “Loneliness always feels bad, but solitude often feels good, and if there is a little of one in the other, the balance can be its own source of sustenance. That’s something Stephanie Rosenbloom captures in her evocative, observant new book, Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude.

Outside magazine said in its “Everything Our Editors Loved” feature that ALONE TIME has “solid reporting on the science and psychology of solitude expertly tied in… I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves travel (and Eat, Pray, Love) or anyone who has forgotten the art of savoring, and the magic that can happen when we put down our devices and simply walk outside.”

The Washington Independent Review of Books wrote that “going solo can be deeply rewarding, and Alone Time shows a masterful way to do it.”

Redbook magazine named ALONE TIME to its “Smart Reads.”

Bustle said “Solitude doesn’t always get the credit it deserves, but Stephanie Rosenbloom is paying it its due” and included the book on its list of “Best Nonfiction Books Coming Out in June 2018.”

Booklist wrote that “Rosenbloom offers a leisurely look at the simple treasures waiting to be uncovered by the solo traveler, such as the whimsical cartoons on street signs in Florence or the meditative call to prayer from the mosques in Istanbul. She also unpacks research on the benefits to approaching the world with a willingness to try something new, and a commitment to staying in the present moment. The combination makes for a richly rewarding guide for any explorer, whether of distant lands or one’s own backyard.”

AARP magazine featured ALONE TIME on its “Great Summer Reads” list.

The Herald Scotland wrote that “Stephanie Rosenbloom decided to fly solo through four cities – Paris, Istanbul, Florence and New York – using it as an opportunity to reconnect with her surroundings without fretting over diminishing phone batteries or bickering with travel buddies. This book is a sublime sensory experience from start to finish: the translucent, rain-soaked petals of a red ivy geranium; soft, whispered conversations drifting through the night air; a salt-dusted, toasted almond on her tongue. Nor does seeking solitude mean being lonely as a raft of transient companions – bakers, street musicians, restaurant owners, shopkeepers – all enrich the smorgasbord along the way.”

The Washington Post wrote that “In her new book, “Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude,” Rosenbloom documents how an increasing number of people are traveling alone, dining alone, living alone and craving time just for themselves. Solitude is having its moment, and ‘Alone Time’ is an unabashed celebration of that.”

Arthur Frommer said “It isn’t often that a newspaper reporter publishes a truly distinguished book about the sensations of solitary travel, the rewarding emotions you feel when abroad by yourself in a strange city. Yet that is the achievement of Stephanie Rosenbloom of The New York Times in her recently published Alone Time… In a text given importance by excerpts from the works of remarkable novelists and philosophers, she takes you on a visit to the above cities, and in the most entertaining possible manner, she describes the joy she found in reacting to the sights and experiences of those cities solely alone, without the distractions of a companion. The book is a handbook of smart travel. You will almost crave to make your next trip by yourself, as a solo traveler.”

Books for Better Living wrote that ALONE TIME is “a witty, joyful, charming account of solo travel in Paris, Istanbul, Florence, and New York. Fans of armchair travel will love this book. What makes it unique is the way Rosenbloom weaves in psychological studies on the happiness of solitude and its effect on creativity and our ability to change.”

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“A joyous, erudite new book that is sure to delight both travelers and armchair travelers, Alone Time is a shapeshifter. Much of it is an elegant and insightful travel memoir . . . but what gives the book its heft and intellectual grounding is the way Rosenbloom is able to use her own experiences as a jumping off point for discussions of the latest psychological and sociological studies into the nature of happiness. . . . It’s a deeply satisfying mix for the reader, part travel guide, part guide to living.”

Pauline Frommer, co-president, Frommer’s Guidebooks and

A wise, passionate account of the pleasures of travelling solo

In our increasingly frantic daily lives, many people are genuinely fearful of the prospect of solitude, but time alone can be both rich and restorative, especially when travelling. Through on-the-ground reporting and recounting the experiences of artists, writers, and innovators who cherished solitude, Stephanie Rosenbloom considers how being alone as a traveller–and even in one’s own city–is conducive to becoming acutely aware of the sensual details of the world–patterns, textures, colors, tastes, sounds–in ways that are difficult to do in the company of others.

Get some Alone Time for yourself. Available at retailers including:

Alone Time from Viking Books