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Arely Ortega, a fifth year student studying population health sciences with a focus in Chicano/Chicana studies, reads a book at Zimmerman Library.

5 and Why: 5 best places to read on campus

 As students and faculty return to the University of New Mexico main campus, it can be harder than ever to find a nice, relaxing place to unwind with a good book. To help readers get back in the swing of things amid the bustle of a new semester, fifth year student Arely Ortega shared five of her favorite places to read on campus.

El Centro de la Raza

As far as study spots on campus go, you can’t get more welcoming than the various student resource centers on campus. To Ortega, the most relaxing of these is El Centro de la Raza, located in Mesa Vista Hall.

“They have the most comfortable bean bags, whether for studying or sleeping or reading in them,” Ortega said.

University greenhouse, Castetter Hall

The University of New Mexico greenhouse, located inside Castetter Hall, offers students the opportunity to read in a quiet climate-controlled environment surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna, perfect for those looking to avoid distractions and concentrate entirely on their reading.

“It’s really nice being around plants. It’s a really calming space to have separation from all of the chaos around campus,” Ortega said.

SUB Atrium

Often overlooked as a reading nook is the Student Union Building atrium, located on the third floor of the SUB. For Ortega, this space provides students with a mix of beautiful surroundings and ease of access, located right near the center of campus.

“The SUB has a really good view over campus … plus it’s easier to go get snacks in the middle of studying,” Ortega said.

The Fine Arts Library

Found on the fourth floor of George Pearl Hall, across from the UNM bookstore, the Fine Arts and Design Library provides a similar advantage to the SUB Atrium in having a view, but rather than looking over campus, you look out over the city.

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“The Fine Arts Library has the most pretty view of the mountains and over Nob Hill, so it’s kind of hard to not want to go there,” Ortega said.

The windows, according to Ortega, are the best part of the Fine Arts Library, and provide plenty of natural light with which to read.

The cactus garden

Located on the side of Zimmerman Library, the cactus garden can be a great place for students to get in touch with nature while reading for school or for pleasure — during warmer weather.

Part of the benefit of this location is being able to take a break from reading and people watch in-between classes, according to Ortega.

“I think it’s really nice to go out and lay in the grass, just to kind of relax in the sun when it’s warm outside,” Ortega said.

Whether looking to finish that winter break read or get a jump-start on the semester ahead, there’s no shortage of places to sit down with a book on campus. Happy reading, Lobos.

Spenser Willden is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at culture@dailylobo.com or on twitter @spenserwillden 

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