Living in Mumbai for a little over twenty three years, I quite share a love - hate relationship with this city. I hate the rains, traffic and of course, convincing rickshaw drivers who refuse to go just about anywhere. Bustling with people, cars and more people, Mumbai often leaves you feeling overwhelmed yet isolated. But a socially awkward person like me will not complain. I rather spend my day curled up in bed, watching a movie or reading my favourite book than spend time being awkward around people. And when I get sick and tired of my bed (and watching soppy movies), my book and I go scouting for that perfect café, library or bookstore that just let us be. When you start searching, you find a lot of unique spots in Mumbai where you can shift your eyes from pages to people, as you please. Located in Khar West, Fellas Café is one such spot. Since the café is situated in this secluded lane, it’s never too crowded or noisy for reading and sipping on chilled watermelon juice. And the good guys at Fellas never disturb you. Another excellent place that I chanced upon recently is Bru World Café in Bandra West. If you’re not carrying a book, they have this tiny library to keep you company and help you kill time as you wait for your cuppa. And, there is free Wifi at both these places! Update: Bru World cafe does not offer free Wi-fi anymore. With shelves stacked with graphic novels and comics, Leaping Windows Café is a geek’s paradise. Their basement serves as a reading room and a library. The café has recently started renting their books out as well. What’s awesome is that Bidisha and Utsa at Leaping Windows Cafe personally ensure you get your steaming cup, just as you like it! While Crossword Book Store continues to be a favorite, the one at Kemps Corner lets you carry a book to Cafe Moshe , which is located on its mezzanine floor. So now you can read whilst you sip your coffee without actually buying the book. Landmark Book Store at Infiniti Mall, Andheri West has these comfy couches for you to sit back and lose yourself, reading your favourite book. How can I forget Kitab Khana in Fort! This massive book store has plenty of genres to choose from. Not to forget the cozy nooks and seating arrangement for reading. The library is well lit and also includes a coffee shop that offers a range of fresh salads, sandwiches, cakes, pastries and beverages. However, you can't carry books to the coffee shop to read until you pay for them. My relentless search for library membership ended with the American Library in Bandra Kurla Complex. With annual membership at rupees four hundred, the American Library lets you borrow four books and two magazines every month. Although you can’t carry your mobile phone or laptop in there, the Library has set up stations with computers and internet access. The library has a quiet seating area for those who wish to read within the library. A popular saying by C.S Lewis states that “We read to know that we’re not alone”. After all, it's the company that matters. And I'm never alone in this chaotic city when I have a book for company. If you too have interesting spots in the city that will make excellent places to read, feel free to share below!