Reading a book is an experience that occurs on the page, in your imagination and absolutely within your surroundings. Whether you’re grabbing a book from one of our favorite Dallas independent bookstores or downloading one to your Kindle, here are our favorite places in Dallas to read. We think you’ll find them amazing, too!
Javier García del Moral and Paco Vique were Spanish civil engineers who loved books and booze and wanted to create a place where the two could come together. From this passion arose The Wild Detectives. Part coffee shop, part bar and part bookstore, The Wild Detectives has become a favorite in Bishop Arts District. Set in a converted home with a front and back patio, the bookstore offers a curated selection of books that covers a variety of categories like mainstream, local, indie, children, artistic and Spanish-language. They’ve hosted over 300 literary events, including readings, symposiums, community discussions and book club meetings.
The Garden Café is a magical restaurant and garden hidden in the Junius Heights neighborhood of East Dallas. This breakfast and lunch spot offers homemade, from-scratch meals made from local meats and veggies and organic ingredients from their on-site garden patio, a large area filled with gardens on both sides and a patio with tables and chairs. There are intermittent areas in the garden for those with a good book to sit and read while having a delicious meal.
Lake Cliff Park is Oak Cliff’s 44.5-acre park most notable for its large pond and garden areas. Visitors can take advantage of this gem of a beautiful park in a variety of ways, though many can be seen walking the trails, enjoying the playground or taking part in a pick-up basketball or baseball game on the respective fields. For those who love reading, it has so many sprawling green spaces to spread out a picnic blanket and read.
Half Price Books is the largest bookstore chain for new and used books. However, it has humble beginnings in Dallas, Texas, in 1972 as a used bookstore out of an old Laundromat. Today, the Half Price Books Flagship store sits off Northwest Highway and offers a wonderful place to buy new and used books or attend literary events. There’s also plenty of tables with chairs where visitors can sit and read a new book, perhaps with a coffee in hand from the on-site coffee shop.
The J. Erik Jonsson Central Library is at the center of the Dallas public library system. Located in downtown Dallas, it sits eight stories high and is filled with books, magazines, DVDs, art collections, a business center and interesting archive collections like Shakespeare’s First Folio and a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence. For kids, the Children’s Center is a wonderful section to read a book in bean bag chairs. For adults, there are plenty of private rooms that can be rented for quiet reading, or visitors can get lost in a book in one of the many armchairs and tables and chairs throughout the eight floors.