chicago readers discussion

favorite places to read in the city?

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message 1: by Nate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

Nate (innatejames) | 6 comments There's this little coffee joint up the street from me called Red Eyes. It's usually quiet and they have these old chairs and sofas in the back of the store that I'll hunker down in and finish my book.

I also like to go up to Belmont Harbor and lean against a tree on a nice day.

How about youse guys?

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Wicker Park, sitting against a tree. Literature bliss.

message 3: by Clare (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Clare | 9 comments the trains.
constantly, every day.



message 4: by Christy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Christy (readingkiki) | 18 comments Mod
i second the train - three cheers for the red line.

message 5: by Clare (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:03PM) (new)

Clare | 9 comments yay red line, indeed!

message 6: by Erin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:05PM) (new)

Erin mostly my bed : )

Sometimes lincoln park, especially in the garden. it's absolutely lovely.

message 7: by Clare (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:11PM) (new)

Clare | 9 comments I have a new one! The Lurie garden in Millenium Park, it has these huge benches tucked back amongst the herbs. And if you get hot or thirsty, there's a "river" to stick your feet in (but you don't get dirty because it's by a boardwalk) and there is a water fountain around the corner.

message 8: by Joan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:11PM) (new)

Joan (joans_) | 1 comments I'm partial to the Japanese Garden near the Museum of Science and Industry.
Also, behind the Doane Observatory at Adler.. pure bliss, in the summer sun :-)

message 9: by Nate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:16PM) (new)

Nate (innatejames) | 6 comments I'm surprised about the train being the preferred place to read. I'm way too easily distractable to focus too much on a book. There's things to see out the window and people watching to do.

what is it about reading on the train that you like?

message 10: by Kristy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Kristy Nate, I know exactly what you mean. I just moved to Chicago last October and I still love staring out the window and seeing the sights. I still manage to read a bit on the train, though.

ANd I like reading on the beach! Montrose harbor is nice. And there's some places up around Rogers Park that are really good, too.

message 11: by rachel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:18PM) (new)

rachel | 1 comments Most of my reading is done on the el. I get absorbed in my book before the blue line leaves my station, and I have to force myself to look up every 5 minutes or so for fear of missing my stop.

message 12: by Steve (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:19PM) (new)

Steve I'm new. I do the vast majority of my reading on the bus and Metra. My bus is on the same route as three high schools, though, so the kids make it tough to read, haha. Sometimes in a decent bar before it gets crowded-- the Map Room!

message 13: by Christy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:19PM) (new)

Christy (readingkiki) | 18 comments Mod
seeing as how i spend half of my life on the red line, that's generally my prime reading time. i do agree, though, that there are many distractions.

message 14: by Clare (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:19PM) (new)

Clare | 9 comments Nate - I agree, people and places are worth watching from the train, but I had 2 hours of commuting on the red line train to the South Side, underground, mostly, and reading made it go by so quickly, and made the trip pleasant, and going to work, or coming home, should be predictably pleasant.
Plus, I'm told that people watching can be a little dangerous if you're not careful, I've seen people get verbally assaulted for less. I feel like I disappear on the train when I'm reading - increasing the risk, like Rachel said, of missing one's stop - but no one really pays attention to a reader.
If I'm engrossed in a good read, the stink is more tolerable, the yelling recedes into the backround, and I'm in my own world.

message 15: by Steve (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:19PM) (new)

Steve I'll agree with Clare re: reading making the trip go by quickly.

As for noise, I can handle it when the train is very noisy and busy. But I am easily distracted when the train is quiet except for ONE person jabbering on the phone, or playing music too loudly and you can hear it from their earphones, or if two people are having a conversation on an otherwise empty/quiet train.

I think this bothers me more b/c I think about how beautiful the silence would be if that one person left! haha

message 16: by Nate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:19PM) (new)

Nate (innatejames) | 6 comments Clare -
isn't it funny though that as stinky and loud as our transit system is, people still identify with a certain line?

You and Christy cheering the red line, when I'd be all up in your grill about the Brown!

Kristy and Steve - welcome to Chicago!

When I first moved here I had an hour and a half commute both ways to work and I couldn't have done it without my books, its true. So I agree with the reading making the time go by, but reading on the train was more necessity than choice. I would any day give up my el reading time and spend it at, say, Belmont Harbor, looking up to find some sailboats instead of some person wanting to verbally assault me.

message 17: by Jen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:20PM) (new)

Jen | 2 comments I used to do the majority of my reading on the Red line. Heck, when I was in high school, that's where I'd do most of my homework-- there and the #8 Halsted bus. Now I live in Edgewater and work in Evanston, so that doesn't give me much train time, especially w/the transfer at Howard. So now I go to coffee shops to do the majority of my reading. My most frequent haunts are Cafe Mozart, the Borders Cafe and the Barnes & Noble Cafe in Evanston; Metropolis, the Tivoli, Intelligensia, and Kopi in the city. In nice weather, I like to go to the parks near Hollywood, Foster or Montrose beaches.

message 18: by Steve (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:20PM) (new)

Steve When I lived in NYC, I walked to work. Didn't get any reading done, and was always too busy with various things on the weekend to get much reading done then either. I actually don't mind commuting now -- since my move here, I've read 10 or 20 more books than I would have were I still walking to work in NYC.

message 19: by amy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:33PM) (new)

amy | 3 comments I really prefer to read at home, in the early morning, or late at night, when the neighborhood is quiet.

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Until January, I still prefer the local pub on a quiet afternoon. I'm a smoker and I still like to enjoy a pint and a smoke when I read. I find the Bucktown Pub on Courtland and Armitage to have the best selection of regulars and randoms. Always a good place to chat about your book and pick up good suggestions on what to read next.

message 21: by Erik (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:10PM) (new)

Erik (erik_w) | 2 comments I remember working at the Daley Center one summer and reading while reclining against the Picasso sculpture.

That was pretty sweet.

message 22: by Maya (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:16PM) (new)

Maya (mayaamarshall) | 2 comments The 9th floor of the Harold Washington Library. The Train. The Alliance Bakery. In front of the lake. The bar. In bed.

message 23: by Ben (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:24PM) (new)

Ben | 19 comments Reading on the Red Line is the better than staring at the tunnel walls, especially now that the walls are moving so slowly in the many slow zones. Also, it helps to have your nose in a book, fewer people talk to you which can be nice. I've met a few really interesting people on the train.

message 24: by Judy"Intergalactic Bookworm" (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:40PM) (new)

Judy"Intergalactic Bookworm" | 4 comments Potbellies at the strip mall that is on 95th Street between 51st Avenue and Tulley Avenue. And also the park that is next door to the Oak Lawn Public Library. For some reason, the library is always cold to me, no matter what time of the year, especially in the computer room, where if I want to use one, I am wearing a sweatshirt even in the summer as I get cold very easily.

As for the "L" lines, I remember when the Red Line was the Green Line at 95th and the Dan Ryan until they reconfigured some of the routes and I use either the Red Line or the Orange Line when I go to Chicago. I was glad when the Orange Line was started as I was always nervious hanging around at 95th and the Dan Ryan and felt more comfortable at Midway Airport.

message 25: by Kaylee (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:49PM) (new)

Kaylee (radioactive_piano) | 2 comments I, too, love taking the Red Line downtown just because I know that's a good half hour [or, more recently, hour] of reading time one way [I'm at Granville].

Still, I don't work downtown, so my most common reading spots include my kitchen's "bar" (while eating), the lunch table at work, and my bed. But when I have the time, I love to go to Stella Cafe, Beans and Bagels, Metropolis, etc.

I've always wanted to bring a book to The Hungry Brain as that seems like the best bar to just sit and read [no tv's! Chill crowd!], but I haven't had the nerve to go there alone. [Yeah, it's chill, but I guess it's just a little too chill for me to feel like I fit in if I'm alone...]

[Late in the game, but I just joined...]

message 26: by Naomi (new)

Naomi Schmahl (naomischmahl) | 2 comments When the weather is nice I like to read by under the trees near fullerton beach, in the winter I hit the bagel... some soup and a good book... but most of my reading is done on the metra..

message 27: by Ola (new)

Ola (ola_faleti) | 2 comments I would say my favorite place to read is my room, but definitely along with the CTA Red Line. I love those school days when I get out early and barely anyone's on the train. It's nice. Tranquilizing.

message 28: by Jess (new)

Jess jeffers | 1 comments there is a great park off damen just before foster too.. i can't think of the name.. but it's usally not too crowded in the summer and quiet!!

message 29: by Pablo (new)

Pablo | 6 comments The train is a great place to read...I ride from Loyola to Division (and back) five days a week. With the usual delays that gives me nearly two hours uninterupted every workday.

Uninterupted, of course, being a relative term. At least I've learned to block out the voices, music, loud chewing and, uh, musty aromas. beats the bus.

message 30: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 3 comments I second Metropolis Coffee Shop. Also, nearby is "The Coffee Shop" which is a quaint little secret still waiting to be discovered.

I'll have to try the 9th floor at the Harold. I also thought it would be fun to ride the "L" just around the city. Maybe I could ride them all in a day and finish a book at the same time. Can't get bored with the right book!

Surprisingly, you can go into just about any hotel lobby and read there, and no one will care or notice. Just act like you belong there and they'll assume you're a guest. The "W" has some good chairs, but the music's always pretty loud (if that distracts you).

message 31: by John (new)

John Stafiej (johnms78) On the bus, to and from work. And lately, curled up in my huge comfy chair in my apartment with only the ticking of the clock.

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