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7 Berkeley hideouts for introverts

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APRIL 28, 2014

People’s Coffee & Tea


If you’re looking for a quiet place to study alone, then slink your way over to People’s Coffee. Not only is there plenty of single seating here (no more awkwardly sitting at a six-seat table with three random strangers), but there are also outlets everywhere (no more awkwardly reaching across a person’s lap to plug in your charger). Best of all, People’s is open until midnight, so you can get most of your late-night studying done without the distraction of your noisy roommates.

Common Grounds


This is the only Peet’s Coffee & Tea on campus that is not overcrowded by mobs of freshmen with too many meal points on their hands. Not many people know this Peet’s exists, or if they do, they’re not about to risk getting lost finding out where the heck Floor F is (it’s not even a number!). Is the coffee good? No, not really. But at least Common Grounds offers some privacy. Well … more or less. With the limited seating, you’ll likely end up sharing a table with one other person. But don’t worry; social interaction is strictly limited to the question, “May I sit here?”, followed by a grunt of assent.

Asha Tea House 


Located just past University and Shattuck avenues, Asha Tea House is a little out of the way for most people, but this means it never gets too noisy or crowded. The atmosphere is incredibly laid-back and relaxed (perhaps it has something to do with the fact that tea is favored over coffee?), and the decor is sleek and modern while still managing to be warm and inviting. As an added bonus, Asha closes a little later than most cafes (10 p.m.), and it’s located next to a bus stop, so getting home is not a problem.

Sack’s Coffee House


Sack’s is yet another cafe that proves the rule that the farther you get from campus, the more appealing cafes become to introverts. Sack’s has got your classic coffee house setup, minus about half the people. Sure, Caffe Strada is right on Bancroft Way, but why torture yourself listening to strangers’ incessant and annoying chatter when you can walk a few blocks down College Avenue and enjoy an afternoon of quiet and productive studying at a cafe that has no shortage of seats? It doesn’t make sense, does it?



Bookish is a quaint little bookstore on Euclid Avenue that your eyes could easily slide over, but like the TARDIS, it’s bigger on the inside. It’s got a great selection of “gently used” and “collectible” books. What that means is really awesome sci-fi and fantasy anthologies, coffee-table books you don’t really need but are dying to have and children’s books with sickeningly cute illustrations. Though you probably won’t find a book for your class here, you will find the perfect book for a night in on a rainy day.

Shakespeare & Co. Books


Shakespeare & Co. provides a more authentic secondhand bookstore experience than, say, Moe’s or Pegasus. True, it smells like mothballs and dust, but it’s the best place to find a dog-eared paperback for $2 or less. Its musty, dilapidated and slightly disorganized interior kind of reminds us of a bookstore you’d find in Diagon Alley. It’s easy to get lost among the tall, teetering rows of bookshelves and imagine you’ve been transported to Flourish and Blotts.

Fantastic Comics


The stereotype of a comic book store is usually a dingy little basement staffed by lots of hostile superfans. But Fantastic Comics is nothing of the sort. It’s wide and well lit, and the employees are actually pretty friendly. It has an impressive selection of graphic novels as well as comics published by local artists. It’s a very chill and unthreatening comic store, the kind you wouldn’t feel anxious or embarrassed browsing on your own in. There’s no need to fear employees breathing down your neck, demanding a list of comics you’ve read.

Contact Lilia Vega at [email protected].

APRIL 28, 2014

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