Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

‘Universal’ places to read within walking distance of your home

For many readers, including myself, the location in which you read a book has an undeniable influence on the text you are reading. One of the great pleasures of reading is finding a snug, comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed, yet the world will still pass by. In this place, you can lose yourself in a book. Think this is hard to do in a town or city? Think again. These are a few of my favourite places to read- which can easily be found anywhere within walking distance!

A café

There are many and various types of cafés which are quintessential places to read. From multiple chains of American origin to quaint, idiosyncratic independent outlets (these are my favourite!) where the owner decides their own rules but never frowns upon a reader.

Cafés are also a perfect choice if you enjoy reading in a lively, sociable atmosphere, yet are still able to maintain focus on your chosen book

As I work part-time in a café, I have witnessed first-hand the appeal of readers’ choosing to read a book alongside a cup of tea or coffee and a homemade cake. Cafés are also a perfect choice if you enjoy reading in a lively, sociable atmosphere, yet are still able to maintain focus on your chosen book. Essentially like floors one and two of the Warwick Uni Library!

A bookshop

This may seem like an obvious choice but whilst bookshops may be a great place to buy books, they’re an even better place to read books! Many bookshops, including my local Waterstones have actively created cafés with the intention of encouraging people to stay and read.

Numerous comfy chairs and sofas are always dotted around bookshops allowing customers to ‘try out’ the book they may be pondering over before buying it. There is no greater environment to read a book than one in which you will be surrounded by others who also love books.

All you need is a bench or a patch of grass to relax into your book

A park

The café where I work is in Verulamium Park: 100 acres of greenery which surrounds a stunning lake. Regardless of their size, parks are heavenly places to read. All you need is a bench or a patch of grass to relax into your book. Simultaneously you can watch the world go by. It is just as important to take pleasure in the environment in which you read, as well as the book you are reading. Parks serve as an ideal place to meet this criteria if you are looking for a place to unwind with a book, surrounded by nature.

Your bedroom

I like to think of my bedroom as my own personal library. This is true both whilst at university and when I come back home. Whether it’s on my bed or beanbag, there is nothing better than being surrounded by lots of books and having the comfort of being able to choose which book you want to read just by looking around you. If you’re seeking privacy, peace and solitude, there is no better place to read a book than your own bedroom. Whether it’s during the day, before you go to bed or at even at 3am, bedrooms will always be there, whenever you decide to read.

The best part about reading in your back garden is that you still get the comforts of being at home

Your garden

Just a stone’s throw away from your bedroom, if you have a garden, this is the next best environment to read in. If you don’t want to travel far to read, guess what… you don’t have to! Why not just sit in your favourite chair in your own back garden – in the shade or sun – relax and enjoy your book.

In the exceptionally hot summer we have had this year, my back garden has been my saving grace for all of the books, poems and plays I am reading this holiday. The best part about reading in your back garden is that you still get the comforts of being at home, whilst venturing outside to experience fresh air and the hot summer sun.

Choosing where you want to read can be an exciting or maybe even daunting decision. However, we can all reach an ‘out-of-the-way’ place within 30 minutes, where you can be on you own, with just a book for a companion. With time, everyone can find a place to read that is unique to them. Find yours!

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