Our Staff’s Favorite Places to Read

When I think of cracking open a good book, I immediately imagine myself in my favorite reading nook—nothing is more luxurious than relaxing in my spot of choice, book in hand. Inspired by the solace my own favorite spot provides me with, I decided to ask some of our staff writers what their favorite reading spots are, and why. So, if you also love a good reading spot, scroll down to find some new ideas for where to spend your page-turning time.

Rachel Hagerman


Favorite place to read: Outside 

Why: Whenever my family goes on vacation, whether it’s out in the mountains or on the beach, we sneak in a few hours of reading time outside. I love this little mini-vacation within our vacation, where I get to travel to a new fictional world with the sound of ocean waves in my ears or the shadows from a tall pine on my cheeks. Bonus points for any reading scene where a cacophony of nature sounds (I absolutely love to hear the birds singing to each other!) replaces your everyday traffic and crowd noise, so you can fully immerse yourself in the fictional world.

Sharon Enck

Staff Writer

Favorite place to read: In a big, squishy chair

Why: If there is one thing that I have discovered about myself, it’s that I can read anywhere: in grocery store lines, on planes, trains, and in automobiles. Yet my favorite place to read has to be the enormous chair and a half that sits in our living room. The room is well lit, and I can see trees outside the window when I bring my eyes up for air. Typically, I have a candle burning so it always smells good, and there’s a lamp nearby for when it gets dark. The chair is squishy enough to sink into, and is big enough to curl my legs to the side. A throw blanket hangs off the arm in case I get chilly, or just feel the need to cozy up. A cup of hot chocolate and I am set! 

Payton Kline

Managing Editor

Favorite Place to Read: In bed

Why: I always love reading in my bed because it usually means I get to go to sleep soon! It’s also such a relaxing place to lay back and get lost in a book, of course, with my kitty by my side. Plus, you just can’t beat all the coziness that comes with the territory of blankets, pillows, and a nightstand candle—there’s nothing like it for reading time. 

Roxanne Bingham

Staff Writer/Communications Coordinator Apprentice

Favorite place to read: On the back porch

Why: My favorite place to read is my back porch, it is unbelievably serene. It has been my favorite spot since I was a little kid and could read. My house backs up to a greenbelt with a creek, so aside from the occasional runner/dog walker, it is quiet and peaceful. When the weather is nice, it’s the perfect temperature and a great way to get outside right now without going in public. It is so relaxing I have actually fallen asleep while reading here before! You get to be surrounded by nature and read a book, so it’s really the best of both worlds.

Makenna Knighton

Communications Coordinator

Favorite Place to Read: By the pool

Why: My favorite place to read is sitting in my backyard dipping my feet in the pool, probably because it is just nice to get outside and escape into whatever fictional world I have for that day. I like being able to tell when I am so engaged in my book that I stop hearing the bird calls and feeling the water ripples. There’s no better way to soak up the sun while beating the AZ heat!

Jade Stanton

Staff Writer

Favorite Place to Read: Coffee Shops

Why: Personally, I love reading at coffee shops. Nothing accentuates the (wonderfully) disorienting return to reality after getting lost in a good book like being surrounded by people, music, and the tantalizing smell of coffee. Locally-owned shops also have the added benefit of a calm and cozy atmosphere that ensures your reading experience isn’t hampered by the hustle and bustle of everyday life, as is often the case in other public spaces. Beyond this, a good cup of coffee or tea is an essential part of a complete reading experience. I have grown especially fond of Tempe’s King Coffee: the coffee is superb, there are plenty of cozy reading nooks, and the atmosphere is perfect for diving into a good book. 

If you also love to read in coffee shops and need some ideas, check out our blog post on the 5 Most Readable Coffee Shops in the Valley.

Abhilasha Mandal

Staff Writer

Favorite Place to Read: In bed

Why: Although I can read just about anywhere as soon as I’ve found myself a little nook and tuned off the outside world, my favorite place to read is in bed, just before I’m about to turn in for the day. Other than being cozy and peaceful, it’s also a great way to unwind and coax the body into sleep mode. Reading to sleep is probably the best antidote to stress insomnia.

A little tip: It’s better to read from a printed book than an ebook during this time because the light from the phone can keep you awake.

So there you have it, some of our staff’s favorite places to read. Where is your favorite place to read? Comment below!

5 Most Readable Coffee Shops in the Valley

There are very few pleasures that rival finding the perfect coffee shop—whether that’s to read, write, convene with pals, or just sip on your favorite order, finding your coffee spot is one of life’s small-but-mighty pleasures. But in my experience, despite having a favorite go-to coffee stop, the place where I want to crack open a new book or thumb through some well-worn pages changes depending on my mood. And you know what, guys? That is okay. So for those of you who are itching to find new spots to read your favorite book, I’ve put together a comprehensive list of the 5 most readable coffee shops in the East Valley. Oh, and don’t worry; I’ve personally tested them all. What can I say? It’s just part of the job.

King Coffee, Tempe, AZ. Located just off of Mill Avenue and University, King Coffee is the perfect spot for those who want to stay close to ASU. Complete with cozy study nooks and tons of seating, you’ll feel right at home as soon as you walk through the bright orange door. And did I mention the coffee? Phe-nom-e-nal. Positively. While everything there is so (so) good, I personally recommend their almond milk lattes. Open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, King Coffee is a must-try; I guarantee it’ll become a household name.

Sozo Coffeehouse, Chandler, AZ. With cozy couches, table seating, crazy-good-coffee, and live music/events scattered throughout the week, Sozo Coffeehouse is an absolute gem of a coffee shop in the Valley. Whether you’re looking to curl up in an armchair with an Agatha Christie detective novel or gather your book club together, Sozo is a most quiet, calming, and inspiring environment. Open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m.-10 p.m., it’s the perfect spot for connecting with a good read or with good friends. You can check out their calendar here for a list of their upcoming events that support local artists.

Royal Coffee Bar, Tempe, AZ. Royal Coffee Bar packs a powerful punch in a bite-sized space. Located just off of ASU’s Tempe campus, it’s a great place to grab a dirty chai between classes while you read those textbooks. Or fun books. Or both, because life is all about balance. Geared towards busy college students, there are plenty of outlets along the coffee bar and even outdoor seating for when the weather isn’t sweltering. They serve their signature European style coffee from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-noon on Saturdays. Family owned and absolutely charming, Royal Coffee Bar will make for an unforgettable coffee experience.

Cartel Coffee Lab, Tempe, AZ. Boasting some truly industrial (and good) vibes, Cartel Coffee Lab’s Tempe location is a mere 10 minute walk from ASU’s campus. Their signature coffee roast delivers a bitter and smooth flavor, making their drinks a lively addition to any current read you bring along. Deceivingly small at first, Cartel’s versatile seating wraps around behind their coffee bar with tables, benches, and just about everything in between. With an effortlessly cool atmosphere, all of you bookworms will feel right at home turning on your headphones and diving headfirst into a good book. Open daily from 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Cartel will become your new favorite hangout.

Black Rock Coffee Bar, AZ. Clocking in at multiple locations around the valley (my personal favorite being Power and Ray!), Black Rock Coffee Bar strikes the perfect balance between edgy and insanely inviting. With strong and smooth coffee that is roasted in-house, everything from their Americanos to their signature Caramel Truffle is truly magnificent. Not only that, but each location offers a great amount of seating at both gorgeous wood tables or comfy leather chairs and couches. Harboring down-to-earth employees and killer playlists, Black Rock is the perfect place to read, study, or make new friends. Each location is open 5 a.m.-9 p.m., so, whether you’re an early riser or an up-all-nighter, Black Rock will never disappoint.