The Best Places to Read

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite places to open a good book.

The Best Places to Read
By Ilana Masad

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person in possession of a good book must be in want of a place to read. And in the immortal words of real estate, sometimes it really is all about location, location, location. Because while we readers may love reading no matter where we are, there are still certain spaces that are conducive to good reading, and they’re different for all of us.

The Beach


The beach is one of our favorite places to stretch out on a towel, shield our eyes from the sun, and tear through some serious pages. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that this sunny, sandy, well-sunscreened reading locale has the background hum of waves crashing. Utter bliss!

In Front of the Fireplace


Picture curling up with a mug of something warm as wood logs pop in a big stone hearth. There’s an immense comfort to be taken in reading in front of a crackling fire, as long as you keep your books well away from the licking flames.

At a Cozy Café


Tea, coffee, pastries, some light pop-rock… Your local indie cafe most likely has all of these and more. Some franchises of big chains even have little free libraries that you can peruse if you forgot to bring your tablet, book, or newspaper with you (which, if you’re a reader, is farfetched, but it’s nice to have options).

At a Bar (Yes, Bar!)


Bars can make very suitable spots for reading. First, books pair quite nicely with your beer or bourbon. Second, shake the stigma: you can be that person at the bar reading a book. In fact, it’s a pretty fun way to unwind (and feels particularly appropriate with certain boozy books).

Public Transport


Whether you’re on a bus, a train, a subway, an el, a monorail, a streetcar, or an airplane, there’s only one concern about reading on public transit: whether or not you suffer from motion sickness. And if you don’t, then read, read, read away!

Window Seat


There are window seats that are simply destined to be snuggled and read in. But honestly, any place where there is a bench indented into a window and some cushions for your butt is the right kind of window seat in our opinion.

Reading Nook


The subtle difference between a window seat and a reading nook is that a window seat can be a reading nook, but a reading nook needn’t be a window seat, as shown above. Any crevice (or cupboard under the stairs) that feels cozy to you is a good reading nook, whether it was created artificially for the purpose or not.



This may be an obvious one, but then again, libraries are where people usually come to either take books out or sit and study in. But libraries’ soft-spoken atmosphere, the smell of old books, and studious atmosphere are conducive to some seriously intense reading.



Some bookstores have strict no-reading-and-sitting policies. Our favorite bookstores are the ones that enforce the even stricter beanbags-or-other-comfy-seats-for-reading policies. We’re big fans of those. Because like at a clothing store, sometimes you need to try a book on before you know if you want to take it home, and what better way to do that than in comfort?



Reading in a hammock is a rare, beautiful experience. Flipping your pages as you gently rock back and forth means you’re bound to have a swinging time of it.



We love being bookish outside in a park. You get to perch on a bench or in the grass, settle into your book, hear the wind in the trees, and when you look up, you can watch the world go by.