If you’re a reader, you know the joy and peace that comes with reading in a coffee shop. That sense of belonging: everybody is reading at a coffee shop; the feeling that you’re learning (even when you’re reading pulp fluff); the smell of coffee and treats wafting all around you; the abundance of hipster beanies and scarves; it all combines to make any day extraordinary.
But even for those of you who are pros at coffee shop reading, and especially for newbies, sometimes the choice of the right book for your adventure becomes a hurdle. You know there will be slight distraction from the movement of fellow customers, the delicious aromas, the noise–what books would be perfect for an afternoon in a sunny window of your favorite coffee shop?
Part of it depends on what vibe you’re going for: intellectual, literary, hip, trendy, or whimsical.
This is for the Intellectual Bookworm Vibe. You are not just here for coffee and fun. Life is short, this is serious business, you have to give back to the world, begin a legacy. You order black coffee, make sure the barista knows that the cup is NOT a to-go cup so that it arrives to you steaming hot in a faux china mug. There might be a small pastry beside you, but it’s vegan and only three and a half bites are gone–you are too absorbed in your book.
Reading this book in a coffee shop is like watching a beautiful, cinematic documentary about some wonder of the world: it shows that you appreciate not only science and the mysteries, but you also appreciate aesthetic and artistry.
2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
This book will complete your Literary Bookworm Vibe. We all remember the title from high school, because “Wuthering” just isn’t a word; so we all know that this book is a serious book. This is art, this is a classic. Go ahead and throw on your own hipster scarf, order an almond milk vanilla latte, and settle in on a barstool by the window. So, you heat up to 100 degrees fahrenheit because you refuse to take your scarf off and the sun is beaming in like a spotlight, but this is your haven: this is your safe place, the place you come to read, to learn about yourself and others.
This book is truly a masterpiece, and you will actually learn a great deal about yourself and others. The characters here are people you’ve met, friends of friends, or yourself. They’re relatable in the cruelest way: that they are not great people, but we all know or are them. This is literature that asks the hard questions about sensitive things: family, relationships, duty, propriety. If you skipped it in high school and just read the cliffsnotes, now is the time to read it. In a coffee shop.
3. The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti
Brand spanking new, fresh, and fun, this book is for the Hip Bookworm Vibe. So it’s not The Great Gatsby or A Brief History of Time, so what? You’re reading, you’re in a coffee shop, you’re having a great day. You’re wearing bright colors, you feel accomplished and organized: it’s time for some fun. Order up a skinny cinnamon dolce latte with extra whipped cream and lounge in that deep, dark, cool, faux leather armchair.
This book is in the thriller genre, along the lines of Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train, but now you can be one of the first to be reading this newest edition to the genre before many others catch on. Also, what a relief it is to read a sexy thriller without the word “girl” in the title.
4. Tales Of The Peculiar by Ransom Riggs
This is for the Trendy Bookworm Vibe. Maybe you are a young adult, maybe you are sixty years old, maybe you are a well-respected manager at a business. Doesn’t matter. You’re at a coffee shop! You’re being trendy, you’re reading what the kids (or the other kids) are reading. You have a mocha frappacino and the crumbs from a cake pop beside you!
As the companion novel to Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children trilogy, which is now a major motion picture under Tim Burton (rejoice, Halloween approaches!), this book is exactly what’s on trend. Everyone has already read the source material. Now we’re all backing up and learning more about these “peculiar children…”
5. A Song To Take The World Apart by Zan Romanoff
This book is for the Whimsical Bookworm Vibe. Magical realism bordering on actual fantasy, you can judge a book by it’s cover here. Beautiful, colorful, soulful, and with a title like A Song To Take The World Apart, you’re bound to be swept up. We all know you invest in the things you read; you learned Elven when you read The Lord of the Rings, you have Harry Potter pajamas, and you might even cosplay. If there was any doubt, the unidentifiable pink frothy something-or-other in that cup sitting beside the charming danish says it all.
This book is a gentle look on power: feminine power, musical power, and more. Deep values are questioned about family and friends; rules are questioned; the floor is open!
Of course (or course, of course!) you can read whatever you want, wherever you want, wearing whatever you want. But why not bring a little glamour into your life? Sure, read in coffee shops for the security of knowing you belong there. Read in coffee shops to have a cozy place to be. Or read in coffee shops to have the fun of belonging to a clandestine and tacit clan of stereotypical readers! Get out there and read. And don’t forget to tip.
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