Relaxing Locales: Places to Read in Monroe-West Monroe
Who loves an afternoon spent with a good book? We do too! In celebration of World Book Day—or any day, consider browsing at a local thrift store like Frog’s Flea Market or the Monroe Symphony League’s Book Room to purchase a previously loved volume, then, venture out to one of Ouachita Parish’s vast venues for a unique reading spot with local color.
Read below for some of our favorite places to read inside when the rain or sun won’t relent:
Corner Coffee & Provisions: Back and better than ever, the Corner Coffee & Provisions serves up not only delicious and unique coffee blends, but also a wide space to work, study, or pleasure-read. The shop’s natural color scheme and quiet, allaying atmosphere invites patrons to relax and enjoy a book whenever they please. The helpful and friendly staff is more than happy to recommend a flavor profile to perfectly compliment your text of choice.
Enoch’s Pub and Grill:
If you like to settle in with a mystery and a pint of Guinness, pull in to Enoch’s Pub and Grill. Here, you can turn the pages all afternoon under the covered patio or at a booth. Though Enoch’s is lively throughout the day, the dark stained wood, photos and memorabilia provide the perfect backdrop for reading. On the second Tuesday of each month, stick around for the long-running Beer and Bards reading series when ULM students, faculty, and local writers read from their own works.
Ouachita Parish Public Libraries:
Ouachita Parish Public Library’s ten branches maintain enviable book collections on any topic for any age. OPPL branches aren’t only for researching and checking out books. Comfortable seating areas and regularly scheduled children’s programming, including Story Time, as well as adult book clubs, connect us to new titles and new friends.
Standard Coffee Co.:
Standard Coffee Co. provides the perfect local reading destination for any bibliophiles in the making. Order yourself a White Lightning and get cozy with a good book on a rainy day at one of Monroe’s finest local coffee shops. Along with great coffee and even better vibes, Standard started a book club in April, which will meet on the first Friday of every month. So whether you want your reading journey to be solo or of a group effort, this coffee shop is the place for you.
For perfect spring and summer days, we love to find a bench or spread a blanket at one of these outdoor spaces below!
The recently revitalized Alley Park provides a peaceful spot on Antique Alley to relax and enjoy any book you may have picked up from the surrounding shops. This particular park awakens primarily at night for concerts and events, but remains a shady spot during the day with several tables and chairs to relax alone or with a friend. With local food joints, coffee shops and bakeries only feet away, this tidy, low-traffic area makes for hours of comfortable, uninterrupted reading.
Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge:
For those who prefer a soundtrack of crickets and a backdrop of Louisiana irises, pack a picnic and head to Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge with a nature-inspired book. Benches along the trails and piers afford seating with a view of wooded marshlands and native or migrating birds. Really adventurous? Rent or bring a canoe and read among the cypress knees, lily pads, turtles, and, maybe even, baby alligators.
With 150 acres of immersive nature, Kiroli Park offers a haven for the common bookworm. Grab your favorite book and pick a spot within sight of the fishing pond or one of the bright-colored gardens. If your reading choice inspires you, you can create your own adventure by trekking across the suspension bridge or climbing up the observation tower. If you’re going for more of a vicarious feel, bring a snack and take a book break at one of the picnic tables to see if any of the squirrels introduce themselves.
ULM Student Publications
For this blog, Discover Monroe-West Monroe partnered with the University of Louisiana at Monroe's Student Publications to showcase work by many talented students. You can learn more about the ULM's Student Publications and see more of their work here: https://ulmhawkeyeonline.com/.