My husband and I are moving (definitely moving, not considering moving) to New Jersey in a few weeks and I’ve been thinking about all the different and new places I’ll find in our new neighborhood. Either for me to get coffee or lounge with my book or even to buy groceries or have dinner together. It’ll be tough at first as I check out different places, but what I’m hoping for is that go-to where the coffee is good, the baked goods selection is ample, and I can read uninterrupted somewhere that isn’t in my home or on the train.
Thinking about all the places I’ll see, I started thinking about all the places I used to go. To give you an idea of what part of Brooklyn I lived in, I was in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg area and my workplace was in the Dumbo area of Brooklyn. I should preface this with “my favorite places where they sell coffee and treats and I can actually sit and read my book if I wanted to afterward.” Because there are some really beautiful places to take bookish photos, but they’re not conducive to reading. You’ll end up hearing the chatter of all the other people in a restaurant. The bookstores are too distracting with cute dogs walking by and humans walking by and people just generally in your face all the time. The bookstores in Brooklyn are also pretty tiny with not a lot of room to sit and read. They’re mostly there for you to get your book and go.
There used to be this hidden gem of a Barnes and Noble in Manhattan that I would always go to. I didn’t buy books there because oddly their selection was so limited that independent bookstore look like Amazon, but I did love to sit around in a nearly abandoned bookstore and read without distractions. Sadly, that Barnes and Noble did close and it’s probably because it was a nearly abandoned bookstore you can read in without distractions. Also, homeless people chilled in the reading areas. That’s New York living for you.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s check out the options I’ve got here in my lovely little neighborhood.
You’ve probably seen the green monstrosity that I call a couch. It’s my favorite place to sit in the entire apartment with only three working legs and the fourth being held up by books.
I’m a huge introvert and sometimes that means that I don’t want to leave the house or talk to humans or be around people I love (sorry, honey). Sometimes I just need to sit in my favorite spot on the couch and read. It’s also a great place to take photos if you set the mood right and there’s some great reading light. It’s also very cost-efficient since you don’t need to buy a $5 cup of coffee to sit on your own couch. Make yourself a cup of tea or do a late-afternoon coffee with a snack. Grab your fur baby and force them to cuddle with you. Invest in some beautiful blankets.
Most importantly, PUT ON PANTS. I’m a huge advocate for sweats at home, but if I’m taking a bookish photo, I really try to put some effort into the way the bottom half of my body looks. Once you’ve got all those necessities, you’ll be ready to take some cozy effortless photos of you just nonchalantly reading on a weekday afternoon. The photo above was an exception because it was the holiday season and who wears pants while they open presents?
Bakeri is this beautiful little place right near my apartment. Every once in a while, I will pull myself off my couch and this is the go-to place for me. The tables are long and communal, so you need to share with other folks around you, but the vibe is good. Not a lot of talkers in that place and bonus points for not a lot of laptops. This place has no wifi, which is nice because you don’t need the Internet to read and it keeps those laptop squatters at bay. Pro tip: Find the place that doesn’t have wifi for a quiet reading spot. No wifi means less people wanting to stay and do stuff.
There’s a few New York based book bloggers that use Bluestone Lane as a means for bookish photos. I worked near one so I would head down for a quick coffee run and take a bookish photo. I will admit that I’ve been guilty of using other people’s drinks and coffee cups to take some cute photos, but for the most part the drinks are mine.
I don’t think this is the quietest place to sit and read, but it is good for some beautiful photos. The way food and drinks are served here have been really delightful and I always come back here for their coffee and teas. Also, they have some a pretty incredible matcha latte if you’re into that kind of thing.
Woops Bakery is a super cute place in Williamsburg with ridiculously photogenic tables and food. I go here from time to time and partake in their delicious macaron selection and good coffee. And if you get the setting right, then you can get some beautiful photos.
However, they do tend to get a bit crowded because it’s right off the Bedford stop (and if you’ve ever been to Williamsburg, you understand), so it’s best to go during the week.
One Girl Cookies
One Girl Cookies is another great little coffee shop (and mentioned in a few YAs). They’re famous for their whoopee pies and great setting. Beautiful and large, this place sits right by the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge Park. You can settle in to their little seating area or you can take your coffee on the go and take some really beautiful bookish photos by the East River. This place does get crowded and sometimes there’s a photoshoot or a movie being made here, but when there isn’t, you can find yourself getting lost in your book for a few hours.
The last thing I want to say before I wrap up here is this: do what feels right for you. I know it’s easy to be tempted by the beautiful book photos you see on the Internet and with a little bit of elbow grease, you can take lovely photos of your current reads in your favorite setting without spending too much money or sacrificing reading time to the less-reading crowds.
I’ll be back in a few weeks with my new New Jersey digs, but for now let me know what your favorite bookish photo spot are!