You can't go past the popular State Library lawn. Not far from Melbourne Central or RMIT if you're waiting for your train or your next class. If you just want to soak up the sun for a bit whilst waiting for your friend, sit back and pull out that novel you're currently enjoying.
If you're on the more business-y end of the CBD, did you know there's a wonderful gardens just outside of Flagstaff Station? Flagstaff Gardens is one of my favourite places to just sit and relax in the city and would be perfect on a spring day to read my kindle.
It's immediately there when you come out of the station, the entrance to the underground station located on the corner of LaTrobe and William St. The gardens are quite large and spacious for somewhere in the city, and if you prefer to avoid the crowds of the the State Library and Swanston St, this is the place to go. A lovely green area, a little out of the way of the busiest part of the CBD and thus quite quiet and peaceful.]
Other places that I have enjoyed reading include the Queen Victoria Gardens just across from the Arts Precinct, sometimes full of people having picnics, tourists strolling through and teams doing group exercise, and Gordon Reserve, with its benches around its little fountain near the Little Collins St/Spring St entrance to Parliament Station.
Quite further out from the city, you may see some business people strolling through, but overall it's generally empty except for a few people walking their dogs. There are many benches to sit on and if you're lucky, it's a favourite spot for food trucks such as Beatbox Kitchen and Taco Truck so don't be afraid to have a bite whilst enjoying your read.
If you want to work on your tan at the same time as enjoying your read, Melbourne has countless beaches for you to drop by. If you don't want to venture far out, St Kilda can provide you what you need along with some warm pink and orange sunsets.
However, if you're after clear blue skies and deep blue waters, take a bit of time to go further down the coast to somewhere like Chelsea. You could lie back on the beach and read with the calm soundtrack of waves crashing in the background. You could even sit on these chairs (below) if you prefer.
alleyways and find a secluded cafe, it could even become your new favourite hangout.
I've dropped by the cosy, little Luxbite in South Yarra, and enjoyed the adorable presentation of their Earl Grey tea, one of their popular desserts, the Opera of Banoffee cake, and their gorgeous flowers whilst pursuing my read of "A Game of Thrones". They also have some delicious and interesting macaron flavours or a brunch menu if you prefer a whole-hearted meal.
And if you're after a simple, quiet read with no frills you can always go to a classic spot, City Library, hidden in the hustle and bustle on Flinders Lane near Degraves St. It might be dead quiet or someone may have chosen to show off their piano skills on the instrument upstairs, providing a classical background to your comfy read. You can find your next favourite book to read too or indulge in some of the magazines and foreign sections of literary material.