Champions of Reading: Outdoor Reading Spaces in Boston

Happy August! Summer reading is just about halfway over, but there's still plenty of time to get started if you haven't yet. Our theme this year (for children, teens, and adults) is "Champions of Reading". You can learn more about the Boston Public Library's summer reading program at There are a lot of fun activities and some very cool prizes, so I hope you'll check it out!

If you're taking part in the adult summer reading challenge, one of the many ways you can participate is by reading outside. Does sitting on your own front stoop count? You bet! Settle down with your latest read and enjoy the sights and sounds of your neighborhood. You can also try something a little farther afield, though. "Green spaces" may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Boston -- we're more famous for our buildings and our traffic! However, we do still have plenty of beautiful outdoor spaces where you could sit down and crack open a book. 

Whether you know it or not, you've probably heard of the Emerald Necklace before. Over seven miles long, the Necklace curves in a rough semi-circle from Boston Common downtown to Franklin Park in Dorchester. If you walked or biked the entire length, you'd pass through the Back Bay Fens and the Arnold Arboretum on your way, too. Interested in plants? The Public Garden is not only beautiful, it's the oldest botanical garden in the United States. Smell the flowers, visit the famous ducklings, and sit down to watch the swan boats (and tourists) go by. You could also stop off in Olmstead Park, which is named for Frederick Law Olmstead, the designer of the Emerald Necklace. The Necklace contains about half of Boston's parkland! There's plenty of space to put down a picnic blanket and read for a while. 

What if you want to stay closer to home, though? You don't have to go out of your way to find an outdoor reading spot in Boston. The Parks & Recreation Department has a list of local parks and playgrounds available online. It's organized by neighborhood, so just scroll down until you find yours. You can also visit your local library! Several BPL locations have outdoor seating, including Codman Square, East Boston, South End, and West Roxbury. The Central Library at Copley Square not only has a beautiful courtyard, but there are are concerts there on Wednesdays and Fridays in the summer. Check out the schedule and get serenaded as you read! 

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