Five Places to Read that aren’t Uni

24 March, 2014|journalism

As seen in Qmessenger 86.

If you’ve got revision, research or just loads of reading to do, the library can end up feeling like a prison of words, where you’re trapped to turn pages ever more. Cast off your wordy chains, and check out our list of best places to read beyond the walls of Mile End.

  1. The Tube to South Kensington
    The tube is actually a great place to read outside of rush hour, and the journey from Mile End to South Kensington takes about half an hour, direct. Perfect to read maybe a chapter of criticism or two, once in South Kensington you can wander round some of the city’s best museums and feel like it’s still productive. There’s also an abundance of cafes for you to continue reading, and you can feel posh whilst doing so.
  2. Whitechapel Art Gallery Café
    Alternatively, if you don’t fancy trekking across the city, the cafe in Whitechapel Art Gallery also provides a great reading atmosphere. With just the right buzz of atmospheric noise, you can dig in to some of their delicious food offerings, sit back with an arty sounding drink (Belvoir cordial anyone?) and read to your heart’s content.
  3. The Geffrye Reading Room
    Also relatively near campus is the Geffrye, an almshouse turned design museum. The long corridor like shape allows you a glimpse into the living rooms of the middle classes throughout the past 400 years, and there are also ample reading facilities. Whether you prefer a silent reading room overlooking the garden, a bustling cafe or braving the elements in the (surprisingly) peaceful gardens, there is somewhere here for you.
  4. Yumchaa
    If tea drinking is a priority for your reading retreat, Yumchaa is for you. With branches in Camden Lock, Camden Parkway, Tottenham Street and (QMessenger favourite) Soho, you can choose a cosy, characteristic corner to suit you. And the best part? There are more than 40 varieteas for you to sniff and sample, and complimentary hot water refills, so you can drink the day away guiltfree.
  5. Bookshop Cafés
    Where better to read than the natural habitat of books? With a new emphasis on customer experience, many major bookstores now have in-store cafés, complete with bookish studious atmosphere that is conducive to studying. QMessenger especially recommends Waterstones on Piccadilly and Foyles on Charing Cross Road.
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