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It’s spring! Time for 10 totally chill Austin outdoor reading spots

Spring is here, and the time is right for reading outdoors. (Per the Rolling Stones’ “Street Fighting Man,” summer is the traditional time for rising in the streets, but, hey you do you.)

Here are 10 great spots to read outdoors before it becomes too hot.

 1. The top floor of the new Austin Public Library. 710 W. Cesar Chavez St. 

The new central branch of the APL includes an absolutely stunning roof deck with chairs, plenty of plants, tables and a stunning view of downtown. Also, plenty of books!

The peak of Austin's Mount Bonnell. DALE ROE / AMERICAN-STATESMAN (HANDOUT)

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2. Mount Bonnell. 3800 Mt. Bonnell Road. 

After some stairs (come on, you can do it!), relax and read overlooking the Colorado River. 

The Texas State Capitol Lawn. ((Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman)) (Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman)

3. Capitol Lawn. 1100 Congress Ave. 

Shade can be at a premium on the Capitol Lawn, but on the right day, reading there is a singular Texas pleasure.

Workers at Zilker Botanical Garden streambed restoration project in 2017. KEN HERMAN/AMERICAN-STATESMAN (Ken Herman/Ken Herman)

4. Zilker Botanical Garden. 2220 Barton Springs Road.

While this is normally thought of as an attraction one walks through, there are benches and decent places to sit all over the place, plenty of shade and, of course, a whole mess of life-giving plants.  

5. Once Over Coffee Bar. 2009 S. First St. 

A terrific deck and good coffee make this South Austin shop an excellent place to crack a book. 

Mayfield Park and Preserve in west Austin has long been a popular destination for a quiet stroll and an up-close look at the 20 peacocks that roam the grounds. Palm trees and water lilies dot the two-acre park. The Mayfield Preserve, a 21-acre natural area that surrounds the park, features walking trails and wildlife habitat. RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN (Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman)

6. Mayfield Park. 3505 W. 35th St.  

Look, are you going to run into peacocks and peahens? Yeah, it’s going to happen. Is your child going to try to walk on one of the walls, fall and almost crack her skull? Wait, that’s just me. Anyway, this is a terrific spot with plenty of shade, ample benches and beautiful surroundings.

People lay out in the sun at Barton Springs Pool last July.NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN (Nick Wagner/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

7. Barton Springs Pool. 2131 William Barton Drive. 

This Austin jewel is brilliant for both swimming and throwing down a blanket and ignoring the world in favor of words on a page (or a screen).

Whole Foods Market at the intersection of Sixth Street and Lamar Blvd. (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN) (Larry Kolvoord)

8. Whole Foods. 525 N. Lamar Blvd. 

A colleague noted that she is very fond of buying a book at BookPeople and then walking over to the Whole Foods flagship right across the street to have a snack and start to read it. Sounds like an excellent plan.

Bluegrass Night at Radio Coffee & Beer on June 13, 2016. Peter Blackstock/American-Statesman (PETER BLACKSTOCK)

9. Radio Coffee & Beer. 4204 Manchaca Road. 

This coffee and beer spot has a fanatical South Austin following, perhaps due to its lovely, well-lit outdoor tables. 

Alexis Juarez receives attention from a dog named Ruby as she and others relax at Lost Creek, part of the Barton Creek Greenbelt, as temperatures approached 100 degrees on Sunday, June 18, 2017. (TAMIR KALIFA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN) (Tamir Kalifa/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

10. The Barton Creek Greenbelt. 3755 S. Loop 360. 

With hiking, shade and water, the Greenbelt is a fantastic spot to sit on a rock and crack open a book.

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