Top Reading Spots on Campus – Alfresco Edition

Written by Victoria Barry

Dr. Dwight Lindley, one of Hillsdale’s assistant English professors, remarks on some of his favorite spots to read on campus, all of which are in the great outdoors. As he relates, “I thrive on being outside. I have sometimes braved the elements in a coat and hat and gloves. . . [being outside] focuses the mind in a funny way, gets me in the zone.” He occasionally enjoys a pipe during his outdoor reading sessions, but has come to an agreement with his wife that such moments will not occur more than once a week. If unavoidable circumstances drive him indoors, Dr. Lindley reads in his office or in one of the library’s reading desks.

  1. Benches: There are numerous benches scattered around campus. Some are under trees in more remote places while others are right in the thick of things. They are wonderful places to read and study, but once warm weather comes, it may be hard to find an available one!
  2. Amphitheater: Dr. Lindley comments that this spot is “nice once things start to grow again . . . it’s quiet, and there’s a breeze there.” It is slightly off the beaten path and thus offers both seclusion and the freedom of being in the open air.
  3. L-shaped Brick Bench: Tucked away in the corner of the Dow Center, there is a brick bench along the wall. “If there is inclement weather but it is warm enough” to still be outside, Dr. Lindley retreats here.
  4. Chairs behind the Old Snack Bar: Although Dr. Lindley admits it is “not particularly pretty,” it is usually deserted, making it an ideal spot for undisturbed reading. You may find, however, that the chairs which generally frequent this rather desolate area have mysteriously disappeared. If this predicament arises, you can always read on the wall.

Dr. Lindley offers a final piece of advice regarding his reading habits: “I learned a long time ago not to read in soft chairs because I fall asleep . . . it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable, but should be hard or firm.”

What are your favorite reading spots?


Victoria Barry is a junior majoring in English with a minor in Classical Education. She participates in Hillsdale’s Catholic Society, volunteers at Mary Randall Preschool, and is the vice-president of the A.A. Milne Society.