Top 12 Spots to Read on—and off—Campus
Part I: Classics and Landmarks
Somehow, you ended up with way more reading than you had expected this quarter. The library is quiet and your room is comfortable, but you don’t want to miss out on Stanford’s springtime weather! Whether you’re reading for class or for pleasure (or both!), take your books outside this second half of spring quarter!
Classics: These spots are no secret!
Lake Lag: Our notoriously dry lake is actually surprisingly swampy at the moment! The birds (and the bugs) are enjoying it. You should, too! Bring a blanket to sit on, or take over one of the benches along the trail. Or, if you like to snack while reading, grab some graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate, and friends and head over to the pit to make some s’mores. Yum! Nothing like gooey fingers when you’re trying to turn the page!
The Oval: On sunny days, the Oval is always full of hearty picnics, frolicking dogs, and high-flying frisbees. Lie out in the grass with some friends from class and get your reading done together! You can bring fruit and sandwiches to munch on as you enjoy a social reading session. After all, it’s fun to read, but even more fun to discuss what you’re reading with friends.
The Quad: Sometimes I feel like campus visitors get enjoy the quad more frequently than students do. Let’s change that. The quad is full of both sunny and shady spots to bring a book. The trees and circular benches provide you with a choice between a sunny or shady spot at any time of day, and you’ll be able to wave hello to friends as they bike past on their way to class. Perhaps it’s a bit of schadenfreude, but there’s something pleasantly calming about reading a book as the rest of the world buzzes from point A to point B.
Landmarks: The must-visit spots you didn’t know were perfect for reading!
Top of Hoover Tower: This one is especially for those of you who have somehow not yet been to the top. What are you thinking? Get on up there! Once you’ve had your fill of pointing at the little miniature buildings where you’ve met your best friends and fallen in love with whatever it is you study here (it’s English though, am I right?), once you’ve taken all of those snapshots and put those snazzy filters on them and posted them to #socialmediasites, once you’ve helped a tourist do the same, pick a cozy corner as your study nook. It may not be the most comfortable spot on campus, but if getting your reading done doesn’t already metaphorically put you on top of the world, now it physically will.
Cantor Arts Center: It’s unbelievable that we have such an incredible (free!) museum right on campus. After you stroll through the exhibitions, there are plenty of places you can sit and read: by your favorite painting, out on their upper deck, inside the outdoor sculpture. Or, lay out on the lawn of the Rodin Sculpture Garden. There’s plenty of sunshine and shade, and you can even bring a picnic. Just keep in mind the museum’s hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 11am-5pm, with extra hours on Thursdays from 11am-8pm.
Memorial Church: Okay, so I’m cheating a bit here. Reading in MemChu isn’t really reading outside. But I bet probably haven’t taken a book to MemChu, and you totally should! The stained glass windows let in the gorgeous glow of springtime sunshine, giving you some warm, colorful light to read by. It’s incredibly quiet and peaceful, like the library, but less populated. There are also plenty of small secret seating areas tucked away around and behind MemChu, perfect for exploring.
Part II will bring you the best garden and off-campus spots in which to read! In the meantime, what are you waiting for? Grab a book and go read outside!