Tired of smoky, congested and noisy coffee houses? Some Lawrence residents and KU students have found an escape at Borders, 700 N.H.
"I heard this is where the party's at," said Peter Saad, a 26-year-old avid reader. "I come here to read leisurely. There's just enough noise to make you focus."
So why not make yourself a cup of coffee or cappuccino and curl up on your own couch and study?
"My roommates are having a party. ... There's too much noise," said Santiago Bonetti, a 26-year-old Kansas University graduate student. Like many KU students, Bonetti lives in an off-campus apartment and needs a place to study free of distractions.
Ellen Fangman, 27, is a graduate student and a graduate teaching assistant at KU.
"I used to go to Java Dive (but) it's loud and it's hard to get a table," Fangman said.
Fangman started going to Borders in the fall of 2000 and now uses the cafe as her office.
"I like the atmosphere and my students can come ask me questions. ... I have a pretty good turn out."
Borders competes with a handful of other downtown coffee shops, but the store does not see the others as a huge threat.
"If I didn't work here, I would come. A lot of coffee shops are smoky and (Borders doesn't have) distracting music and you can look around the store then go back to studying," said John Fackler, the store's multimedia supervisor.
Among the graduate students studying and drinking coffee in the cafe was Erica Pence, a 19-year-old sophomore at KU.
While the bands performed and the lines of concertgoers flowed at the doors of nightclubs across the street, Pence quietly studied in the corner of the cafe.
"Usually it's peaceful, (but) in my room, the phone, roommates, TV are all distractions," said Pence, who is an international studies and French major.
Borders is open from 9 a.m. to 11p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.
According to Fackler the store is usually busy until it closes. And why not?
"Everyone here is very friendly, and it's a great way to read books and not have to buy them," Saad said.
ï¿½ Amy Rodriguez is a student at Baker University in Baldwin.