The 10 Most Inviting Spots to Curl up With a Book Around Grand Rapids

Curl Up with a Book Feature Image

20 Minutes a Day Isn’t Just for Kids – Adults Need to Read, Too!

I recently realized that I truly have no space of my own. I share, literally, everything. Some ladies have she-sheds, some have art-rooms. Me, I have no space at all.

So even when the kids are off to school, sitting down to read a book in all this shared space doesn’t feel right.

I set out to find a place that feels authentic, where I don’t have to think about the dishes, and I’ll be relaxed. These ten places fit the bill, and each boast a unique vibe that you can enjoy, depending on your mood and the kind of book you chose. 

10 Places to Dig Into that Page Turner

1 – The Sparrows Coffee & Tea & Newsstand

1035 Wealthy Street SE | Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Walk into this shop with a plan to stay awhile. The hardwood floors, big front windows, potted plants and aroma of freshly brewed coffee will keep me smiling for hours. If I’m not in the mood for coffee they offer several tea options as well.

They’e got some soft chairs up front that are perfect for reading, or find a seat outside on their patio if you want to take in some urban sounds while you read. They encourage you to take advantage of the comfortable atmosphere, I mean, they even offer magazines and other periodicals to purchase for your reading pleasure.  

reading spots around Grand Rapids

2 – In a Hammock About Town

The urban dictionary defines Hammocking as: The act of setting up and subsequently chilling in a hammockChilling? (How do I do that, again?)

But when the kids are in school and it’s still warm out I can set up a hammock and chill as I finish up the book I started before Summer break and haven’t had a chance to finish! 

3 – Grand Rapids Public Library – Main

111 Library St NE | Grand Rapids MI

A library seems way too obvious right? But, if you haven’t ventured to this particular building you’re missing out on a quaint fire place in a very quiet space where you can kick back, or use a table, to get started on the latest novel. And if you finish it, you can go upstairs to one of the many floors of book and choose another. The librarians are a huge help if you’re looking for something specific. You are welcome to bring a covered drink but may want to plan lunch out if you’re going to be there a while.

Favorite WEst Michigan INstagram Spots GR Public Library Atrium 1

4 – Downtown Market

435 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Some people need a quiet space while others like the hustle and bustle of life moving around them as they read their favorite thriller. Downtown Market has several areas to take in a book.

The second floor offers a slightly quieter environment while the main floor provides a list of various fragrances to fill your senses. Grab a fancy brownie from Sweetie-licious Bake Shoppe and a large cup of coffee from Mad Cap before settling into your favorite paperback.

Downtown Market Greenhouse 1 1

5 – The Japanese Gardens at Frederik Meijer Gardens

1000 East Beltline | Grand Rapids, MI 49525

A break from the busyness of life is sometimes necessary. The Japanese gardens at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park offers tranquility in a simplistic way. It’s worth the fee to find such a beautiful and quiet place while you dive deep into that novel.

You’re welcome to stay as long as they’re open. If you get hungry they offer The Taste of the Garden café for fresh and tasty eats.

Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens

6 – Ah-Nab-Awen Park

220 Front St. NW | Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Working on an adventure or mystery story you just can’t get out of your head? Head to Ah-Nab-Awen park. It’s a short walk from Medical Mile right in front of the Gerald R. Ford Museum.

The rolling hill (literally my kids love rolling down it!) is a nice place to throw down a blanket, bask in the sun, and park-it for a nice lunch break read.ArtPrize9 Land Chimes Ah Nab Awn

7 – At the Beach – Long Lake Park

13747 Krauskopf NE | Sparta, MI 49345

Of course the beach! Reading on the beach is probably another obvious selection. But did you know there is a park just north of Grand Rapids that features 231 acres of nature with over 1 mile of waterfront? You could lay your beach towel out on the sand while your kids swim nearby. Of course, if they’re in school it is likely you will have that beach all to yourself.

Looking for more beachy reading spots? Our beaches guide has a few more winners in it.

8 – Grand Rapids Art Museum

101 Monroe Center | Grand Rapids, MI 49505

The GRAM is stunning. Not only can you view amazing art but they have a periodical and study room where you can spend a much needed quiet time away. If you enjoy viewing and learning about art be sure to reserve this space to read up on your favorite subject.

The Great Lakes Cycle GRAM wildlife drawings 1

9 – John Ball Zoo

1300 Fulton St | Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Sounds funny right? – Who would think to quietly read at the zoo? Well, the John Ball Zoo has a large park with a pond and ducks. You can bring a fold up chair on a warm breezy day and read the day away. Sometimes the happy sounds of animals and people in the background can be relaxing and motivational.

John Ball Zoo playground picnic Hunt

10 – Your Local Bookstore

I love bookstore reading. You can get a few great recommendations from the smart staff and read the first chapter before you commit to buying it. How often have you thought you’d like a book only to put it down after a couple of pages? Warning: you may be tempted to buy all the books. That’s okay. You can never own too many books!

Books and Mortar955 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Books Mortar store front

Epilogue Books10 E Bridge St NE, Rockford, MI 49341

Grand Rapids booksellers

Schuler Books2660 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Vault of Midnight (premier selection of graphic novels) | 95A Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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