i live in the west village, where there's tons of places to get coffee or tea and a snack and read (as a service i'll list them:
doma, the new grounded, jack's, joe, grey dog (when it's not too crowded), les deux gamin, soy luck club, and for take-out coffee chocolate bar and bonsignor)
but my boyfriend lives in nolita, and since i've been spending a lot of time on that side of town, i've been looking for good places that are good to sit and linger at. gitane is too crowded/trendy most of the time. cake-o is adorable, but the coffee/tea is regrettably not that good. i know there's tons of places in the east village -- but i haven't got a good enough handle on them yet.