Museums corner | Where to read great books

Museums are not solely for walking around with folded arms and exchanging new thoughts about the objects on display. You can also just sit down and keep your mouth shut. Actually, you do not even need to look at the exhibition, and instead just be content with profiting from the evocative rooms while you are immersed in a great book.

Drifting minds If you should need a break you ought to pick up a great novel and seek the shade of a palm tree right here in the centre of Copenhagen. Install yourself on a bench at the Palm House in the Botanical Gardens with your book and a thermos and let your thoughts drift away. For free. Or, if you prefer more of a urban jungle experience where the café latte machine is in easy access, then the Winter Garden in Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (Dantes Plads 7, 1556 Cph V) might be just the place to hang out and ensure that both snow and sleet are quite literally are “out of sight, out of mind”. The Café in the Winter Garden is run by TV desert chef Mette Blomsterberg so you should have plenty of opportunities to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Read them where they were written There are also plenty of opportunities to read the books where the writers went. Take a trip to Karen Blixen Museet (Rungsted Strandvej 111, 2960 Rungsted Kyst), or install yourself in the café at Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Nyhavn 2, 1051 Cph K), which used to be the home of one of the first female writers in Denmark, Charlotta Dorothea Biehl, who was also known as the Skriverjomfruen (Writer Maid). Moreover, Danmarks Kunstbibliotek is situated at Charlottenborg Castle, so you have plenty of opportunities to broaden your knowledge of art in these inspired settings.

Reading in heliotherapy There are also plenty of places with excellent opportunities for natural heliotherapy. Take your book along to the Danish Architecture Centre. In the café you can install yourself in the petite glass-covered bay window with a view of Copenhagen Harbour. Or you can seek out a remote bench on the top floor of The National Gallery of Denmark (Sølvgade 48-50 1307 Cph K) and read your book in the light provided by the great windows looking out towards Østre Anlæg. See the big picture at the Post & Tele Museum’s Café Hovedtelegrafen (Købmagergade 37, 1150 Cph K) with a view of the grand roofs of Copenhagen, or install yourself in Design Museum Danmark’s café (Bredgade 68,1260 Cph K), which has a view of the old Rococo building’s extensive garden. The chairs are Danish designed, and should you feel the desire to learn more about them, or are generally into being surrounded by books in solitary environments, you ought to visit the stylish library situated next to the café.

Tune in to the ambience In the solitary library garden behind The Black Diamond, Søren Kierkegaard keeps an eye on the diligent students. Should you not be one of them, but happen to have got off to a good start with ‘Harry Potter’ for the third time, you might enjoy a visit to the evocative old North Reading Room at the Royal Library (Søren Kierkegaards Plads 1, Cph K), which was completed in 1906. If it is not fantasy, but rather novels like ‘Hildegard’ or ‘The Pillars of Earth’ you are reading, maybe you might find it interesting to take the novel along for a visit to Esrum Abbey and Møllegård (Klostergade 11, Esrum 3230 Græsted). Take a walk in the abbey garden and breathe in the scent of the curative herbs or install yourself in the lunch restaurant and café Broder Rus’ Basement (Klostergade 12, 3230 Græsted). The white-chalked arches in here will guarantee a perfect scene – and at the same time you will get the chance to savour some of the best specialities of medieval times.

Modern Times If you like modern literature, have lunch at Arbejdermuseet’s Café og Ølhalle, where you can consume your fried herring in the original interior from 1892. In order to fully enjoy books on the Second World War, it is recommended to visit the museum’s reconstructed 1950s coffee shop. Here you can enjoy a piece of authentic history and cracker – and of course you can have a cup of coffee with ‘Richs, der drik’s’.

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