If, like me, you’re not one for getting up at 7am, racing to the Ali G, and locking yourself down into a seat for the rest of the day, then may I suggest travelling a little further, up into the serene streets of Northern Quarter. The extra 10 minutes on the bus will bring you to Chapter One: a book store and cafe situated just off Piccadilly Gardens that makes the perfect inner-city study space.
Dotted with comfortable armchairs for reading, or desk space with individual lamps and large windows for plenty of natural light, there’s always a space to get comfortable in. The cafe provides a selection of drinks and cakes (including vegan and gluten free options) to get you through the day, and as a popular spot for writers and readers alike, there is no feeling that you are ever overstaying your welcome.
Plants, fairy lights and huge windows – can it get any better?
A lapping water fountain, quiet chatter and gentle old-timey jazz creates the perfect white noise for studying. I often find the library too silent to concentrate and feel self conscious of every movement, but get distracted by group projects talking in more sociable study spaces. Chapter One, meanwhile, strikes a perfect balance.
It’s quirky without being pretentious; simple, charming and welcoming.
If you get bored of reading for your course, pick up a book from one of their shelves – there’s always something new and interesting to check out. You can also use their vintage typewriters for some novelty, or entertain yourself with a variety of board games from their shelves. Alternatively, time your visit for one of Chapter One’s frequent events. These include art nights such as cake and doodle alongside regular book clubs, which welcome anyone, student or not.
Chapter One is also open till midnight, making it ideal for a night owls or working to a late deadline, not that any student ever leaves their work to the last minute.
So go, venture out of the student bubble and find your new favourite study space. Take a friend, or go alone and meet your fellow regulars – fair warning though, you’ll become one yourself soon enough.