Juan Vidal, a book critic at NPR, recently published a piece on “A Shot And A Book: How to Read in Bars.” Now the average bookworm may be appalled, but he does have a good point. Personally I’m always seeking the perfect place that’s quiet enough to lose myself in a book while lacking the pretentiousness of coffee shops and the infinite distractions of libraries or bookstores.
When the weather cooperates, I tend to prefer outdoor spaces, like a nook outside the 16th Street Masonic Temple or a tiny memorial park in Georgetown. If pushed indoors, there’s nothing better than my bed or a fluffy armchair with a cup of tea. I’ve dabbled in cafes, usually when I’m eating alone, but I’ve never thought about reading at a bar.
Bars scream to me, crowded and noisy and the inability to hear yourself think. But if you go at off-peak hours as Vidal suggests, I can see how, in Vidal’s own words, “They’re warm and brooding, and if you go early enough, it can be just you, a bartender, and enough open space to react to plot twists without judgment.” Read more here and give it a shot!