Best Places to Read in NYC
The perfect reading spot has to be comfortable, (somewhat) quiet, and enjoyable to be at for hours on end. For most people, it’s their favorite coffee shop, or their favorite chair, or a bench in a park. If you haven’t found your personal one yet, try these best reading spots in New York City and get started on your fall reading list.
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If you love to read intermittently, then head to Union Hall in Brooklyn. This part-library, part-bar, and part-event space allows you to get cozy with a book on a plush couch by the fireplace but also gives you the option to take a break, drink a hot Irish Nut with Bailey’s and amaretto coffee, or even play bocce ball. Located in the heart of Park Slope, this venue caters to all types of audiences: bookworms, live comedy fans, bar hoppers, etc. You can also get some fresh air at the outdoor garden or at Prospect Park nearby.
Williamsburg’s waterfront now has some great benches, lounge chairs, and tables for you to read at. Domino Park, launched earlier this summer, is open to the public every day from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. and has everything from a taco shack to a volleyball court. You can look out toward the calming water, admire the Williamsburg bridge, and get some Vitamin D from the sun all while reading your book. Make sure to visit before it gets too cold. Here’s a preview if you’re not yet convinced.
Looking for a more unconventional reading spot? Visit The Keep in Ridgewood. This eclectic bar has live music, psychic readings, and comfy antique couches. Take a seat and read until 5 p.m. only to switch over to beer or cocktails. Owner Stephanie Castillo opened the bar to display the hundreds of antiques in her storage as well as to create a community space for work or play. It’s a funky spot, but it’ll be a little adventure for you and your book.
Milk & Pull fits the classic definition of a “coffee shop reading spot.” Grab a seat at Ridgewood’s neighborhood treasure and read with a Dough donut or bagel sandwich in hand. The decorative plants and hardwood floors will make you feel at home, and the smell of roasting coffee will calm your senses. Try sitting at the long, communal tables if you’re feeling social and make conversation those around you.
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Pier 96 at Hudson River Park
All along the Hudson River, there are tons of great reading spots. Our favorite is Pier 96 where its docks are bustling and kayaks roam the waters. The best part, however, is the grassy area where you can find sunbathers in the summer. Find a seat under a tree and open up your book. Look up once in a while to enjoy the breathtaking, blue view.
Of course, we couldn’t keep Central Park off of this list. The Conservatory Garden, a 6-acre formal garden between 104th and 106th streets (on Fifth Avenue), is a beautiful destination with three distinctly styled gardens — Italian, French, English — opened to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (in October). The quiet atmosphere of the garden, completely free of runners and bikers, will let you focus on the words on the page but the alluring flowers might not.
Everyone can agree that the best reading spots are the ones close to home. Our coliving homes in New York City are in close proximity to these hidden treasures, so get a free tour today.