The Best Places to Read in Durham

13 May 2015

Love to read but you’re tired of being cooped up in your house from the long winter? We’ve got a few ideas for places where you can go and read in Durham, North Carolina now that the weather is warming up!

Cocoa Cinnamon

Cocoa Cinnamon (Cafe) – 420 W. Geer Street

Cocoa Cinnamon is locally owned cafe that’s operated by Leon and Areli Barrera de Grodski (two very cool people). Their goal is to bring the best, sustainably sourced coffees, teas, drinking chocolates to people in a friendly, thoughtful and comfortable setting. Seating can be crowded lately, however, which is why they’re opening their second shop in Durham.

Joe Van Gogh (Cafe) – 1104 B Broad Street or 120 Science Drive

Looking for a place to read and also get an artisan-level cup of coffee? Go to the Joe Van Gogh cafe – there are four locations in the Triangle, two of them in Durham.


Guglhupf (Cafe/Bakery) – 2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard, Suite #1

Guglhupf is the prime place in Durham for German foods and pastries…as well as reading. It’s a popular spot for Duke graduate students and its outside seating is just as pretty and peaceful as its interior. With Guglhuf, the owners have been incorporating elements of the casual dining that takes place in Germany in a “Biergarten” setting.

Ninth Street Bakery (Bakery) – 136 East Chapel Hill Street

Did you know that Ninth Street Bakery in Durham sits on the site of the first public library in North Carolina, established in 1897? Not to mention they offer many fantastic organic baked goods. Aim to visit later in the day to avoid morning rushes for bakeries, however, if you’re planning on reading! 


Motorco Music Hall (Bar) – 723 Rigsbee Avenue

“Motorco is like a whole entertainment complex! We have the GarageBar and the Rigsbee Patio that are always open to the public.” From Tuesday through Sunday, Motoroco opens at 11:30 AM and is a prime location to sit, chill and read before the evening party time hits. Then you can go get a drink from Fullsteam Brewery across the street!


Durham County Library (Library) – 300 North Roxboro Street

What better place to enjoy a new book than at the local library? This library is open until 6 PM most days – and it was the first free, tax-supported library in all of North Carolina!


The Regulator Bookshop (Bookstore) – 720 Ninth Street

Support your local bookstores by spending some time reading there (and picking up a few new books!) An extra benefit – “45% of the money you spend on this site stays in our community, while none of the money you spend on Amazon stays local. Thank you for your support of Durham and The Regulator, your thoroughly independent, locally owned bookstore!” 

Eno River State Park

Eno River State Park (Park) – 6101 Cole Mill Road

If you love being outdoors, check out the Eno River State Park for your next reading excursion. There are two campgrounds, tons of trails, and a lot more activities to try out in general. Consider hiking to your next book reading spot!


Duke Gardens (Park) – 420 Anderson Street

The grounds are open from 8 a.m. to dusk 365 days a year, and admission is free! It’s 55-acres of beauty and one of the top ten public gardens in the whole country. If you need peace, quiet and heavenly smells as you read, this should be a go-to spot.


Celebrate reading locally with us on May 15th through the 17th in Downtown Durham at the Read Local Festival!

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