This isn’t an easy article to write. 

Do you know the feeling of discovering a new food truck and simultaneously wanting to tell everybody but also wanting exactly zero other people to start going there because you want to continue to reap the benefits of the lack of a line? That’s how I feel about campus reading spots. They’re mine and they’re great and I don’t want anyone else to know about them—BUT, out of a desire to help other bookworms, here are some of the best places on campus to set up camp and get some reading done.


Fisher Armchairs

Fisher Fine Arts is a polarizing place. There seems to be a constant debate over whether it's undeniable aesthetic appeal outweighs its weirdly discomforting quietness. Regardless, the four or five chairs immediately to your left when you walk into Fisher are comfy and usually unoccupied, a winning combo.

Coffee Market

This West Philly coffee shop on 45th and Pine doesn’t have much ambience, but the coffee’s good, and the location is quiet, secluded, and has a nice outdoor porch area if you’re looking to tan a little while you get through a few chapters (multitasking!). 

Green Line Cafe

For those looking to go slightly less west, head to 43rd and Baltimore (or 40th and Ludlow to stick closer to campus) for a view of Clark Park and some forced no-wifi time so you can get off the grid for a bit and focus on whatever book you’re making your way through

VP 6th Floor Shakespeare Library

Most people know about the wonders of the main space of VP 6th Floor and it’s nap-friendly couches, but dive a little further in until you reach the glass door to the Furness Shakespeare Library and you’ll find a slightly more secluded spot to get some reading done. 

Inn at Penn Fireplace Room

So many cozy chairs, so little time. Sit by the fireplace and watch over Walnut Street and even steal some of the free snacks they usually have out by the concierge desk. You can even order yourself a glass of wine if you’re in the mood. 

Law School Courtyard

It’s the perfect place for when you want to to see no one you know when the weather's nice. The Law School is a bit intimidating to walk into at first, but once you flash your PennCard, make your way to the large green space in the middle of the building and snag an outdoor table; be prepared to be bothered by nobody. 


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