In the age of Kindles, iPads and countless other forms of high-tech entertainment, books have fought their battle with the changing times and have come out victorious, still embraced by readers everywhere.
Whether you are a book-marker or a page-creaser, a lover of poetry or sci-fi, a bookworm or a holiday reader, it can be agreed that there is no other feeling quite like that of finishing a great book. Getting to know the characters within it like old friends, experiencing its highs and lows and at the end of it all, realising you have taken a journey without actually leaving the comfort of your reading spot is the true art of reading.
Choosing the perfect spot to kick back with your book can definitely enhance the reading experience, and a couple of chapters can easily turn into hours of page turning.
With summer on the cars, we have chosen some of our favourite retreats around town where you can relax and spend some quality time with yourself and your book.
1. Settle next to the lake at the Rippon Lea Gardens
The gardens Rippon Lea offer the reader peace and privacy. With scenic hidden gems around every corner, sitting anywhere creates the perfect reading spot. A particularly nice area is next to the small mossy lake overlooking the boathouse. It will make you feel like you have entered into a Virginia Woolf novel for the afternoon.
2. Sit underneath the lemon tree with your book and a frozen granita in the courtyard at Mixed Business Cafe This small, rustic café in Clifton Hill boasts some excellent drinks and food to keep you reading away. The homely courtyard is the best part. With lush gardens and an overgrown lemon tree, sit on one of the paint chipped benches and get stuck into a book. It is better to go on a weekday when it’s not too busy.
3. Use one of the grand elm trees as your backrest in the Edinburgh Gardens
Located in Fitzroy North, the large majestic trees that populate Edinburgh Gardens provide the perfect natural backrest. Nothing could be more simple and relaxing than finding your seat at the base of a tree with your book.
4. Reading and sipping tea in the sunny courtyards of Husk Cafe
Husk is well known for its beautiful, cosy boutiques and high-end collections, but searching a little bit further will have you stumbling across the perfect, quiet, pebbled courtyard. Both the Albert Park and Hawksburn stores offer these secret escapes, and their variety of teas go down very nicely.
5. Claim your desk at the Mecca of reading spots in The Reading Room at the State Library
The home of books, this is where you go to do some serious reading, where silence is a universal understanding upon entering. Walk amongst the high shelves of neatly stacked books and choose from one of the largest and oldest collections in the world. Then take a seat at your own polished wooden desk, complete with a green shaded antique lamp and be transported to another time.
6. Find some shade in the pavilion at the Abbotsford Convent
The Abbotsford Convent is known by many as an epicentre of creativity. As such, it serves as the perfect setting for lovers of literature. With the perfect view of the towering old building, the pavilion on the green is the perfect place to lounge carelessly on a sunny afternoon.
7. Pack some lunch and a classic novel and head to the Royal Botanical Gardens
The stunning landscapes of the Royal Botanical Gardens offer countless places to settle down for a few hours. According to its gardeners, a perfectly positioned bench overlooking the New Zealand Collection and lily pad pond is the best spot. With a packed lunch and some Mark Twain, the only thing to stop you from finishing your book will be the hours of sunlight in a day.
8. Cosy up in a leather armchair in The Athenaeum Library
This is a subscription library with a big history. Operating for over 170 years, it has hosted not only books, but film features, art and music, making it a cultural monument within the heart of the city. It is has a wide variety of books on offer and some cosy leather armchairs to slump down into.
9. Read your book while dangling your feet over the side of Lagoon Pier in Port Melbourne
This is a quiet pier where the sound of the waves rolling into shore will have you feeling relaxed in no time. Dangle your feet over the edge of the pier and read a good sea yarn.
10. Watch the rowers glide by next to the Yarra River
The trail running along the Yarra across from the tan is a place to take off your shoes and stretch out with a book. With stunning views of the city, the smell of barbecues in the air and the constant flow of the river, adding a book to this equation makes for a magical summer afternoon.