(This article by Lorena Romo originally appeared on Porch.com. Porch was kind enough to mention Bookship).
If you love to curl up with your favorite books, a reading nook can be the perfect way to enjoy this beloved pastime. From nonfiction books to thrillers and romance novels, reading is one of the best ways to relax and escape from the stresses of everyday living. If you’re thinking about creating your own reading nook at home, read on for some tips and tricks that will inspire you to craft a perfect reading space.
Why Create a Reading Space?
For those who have a habit of reading often, creating your own special space will make it even more enjoyable. There are lots of benefits to having a reading nook in your home, including:
• Having your very own reading nook gives you a quiet space to relax and de-stress.
• Reading is a great habit for kids and adults alike. Designating a space in your home for this activity will encourage everyone in the family to read more.
• When you read a lot of books, you’ll enhance and grow your vocabulary and improve your spelling skills.
• Spending your free time with a good book can help you learn new things and discover new characters, worlds, and experiences.
• There’s nothing quite like enjoying a great book, some downtime, and the soothing smells of scented candles to help promote relaxing at home.
Finding the Perfect Space
Once you’re committed to creating a reading nook, it’s time to think about the perfect location in your home. If you happen to have a spare room such as a guest bedroom or a space over the garage, these are two fantastic options. If your home is small or you’re short on space, you can still enjoy the perks of a private reading nook. Designate one corner of your living room as the reading nook. Add a small bookshelf and a comfy chair along with an accent table and a lamp for a comfy space to sit and dive into your favorite novel. You can also integrate a reading nook in other rooms like a master bedroom or home office. Make sure you have enough book storage so it’s easy to access all of your books within reach. Place some potted plants on your bookshelf or table to add a touch of greenery and create a relaxing vibe.
Reading Nook Essentials
After you’ve chosen the perfect space in your home for reading, it’s time to bring in the essentials. From furniture to storage, here are a few must-haves that every home reading nook should include:
• Lighting: If you’re still reading when the sun goes down, you need to have adequate lighting in your reading nook. A floor lamp with an adjustable neck gives you the perfect task lighting for reading. Make sure the lighting is bright enough that you can see clearly, but not too strong that it causes eye strain. Warm LED light bulbs should give you the right level of light without being too tough on your eyes.
• Décor: Give your reading nook some personality with some fun pieces of décor. A few houseplants or a framed poster featuring the cover of your favorite book will give the space a personal touch. Choose decorations that go with the reading theme or try something simple and modern like a small statue and or a simple abstract painting. Bring an area rug into the room to create a warm, inviting look and feel. If you’re diving into an audiobook, include a great pair of noise-cancelling headphones and hang them on a wall hook.
• Furniture: When you dive into an awesome book, it’s important to have comfortable furniture to keep you immersed in your reading. A cushy chair with thick cushioning or a nice recliner are both terrific options for comfy, cozy reading spaces. If you have a simple accent chair, supplement it with a footstool or ottoman so you can prop up your feet. Add a side table to the space so you have a place to sit down your book and a favorite beverage.
• Storage: Of course, no reading nook is complete without a proper way to store your books. Try a tall bookshelf with plenty of room, and organize your books by title, author, or your own cataloging method. If you want to keep your books out of sight, a cabinet with solid doors works perfectly. If you’re short on floor space, install wall shelves or try a rolling cart that you can move around and tuck away when you’re done selecting a new book. If you’re on a budget, consider bookshelves from your local thrift store that you can refinish or paint in any color.
• Ambiance: If you want to create a calming environment, you need a few things to create a relaxing ambiance. An oil burner with some essential oils is a great way to create a soothing scent that calms the mind. Add a soft blanket to your reading chair so you can snuggle under it on chilly nights. Soothing music or scented candles are other great additions that will give your reading nook a relaxing vibe. Plants are the perfect addition to make this space calming and cheerful.
• Personal Touch: Give your reading nook some personality by decorating it with sentimental items like a few photos of your friends and family or a piece of artwork painted by a friend. You can also hang your college diploma on the wall or frame a favorite quote to give this space a personal touch that’s special and unique to you.
Make Your Reading Nook Enjoyable for the Whole Family
Encourage your kids to read more by creating a reading space that everyone can enjoy. Reading a book aloud and having story time is a great way to spend quality time together as a family. Your reading nook can also double as a quiet place where the kids can do their homework or catch up on school assignments. Make the space special by adding kid-friendly furniture. You can find small chairs designed just for kids, so they have a comfy place to sit and read. Look for short, brightly colored shelves that are the perfect size for kids to get easy access to their favorite books. Set up a small table in the corner where the children can participate in other kid’s activities like coloring and crafts. Bring in some crayons, construction paper, and other crafty items that will encourage your kids to let their imagination soar. The idea is to make this part of your home special and accommodating for everybody for fond memories and family time.
If you’re not sure which books to stock up on for your kids, look for a list of the top books for children. Whether it’s an illustrated story or a short novel, make sure the books you choose are age and reading level appropriate. Talk to your child’s teacher and ask them for a recommended reading list. Check in with other parents to see what books their kids are reading. You can also buy a few of your own favorite books from your childhood to pass on as a family tradition. According to the Association for Library Services to Children, some of the top books for kids of 2020 include:
• The Balcony. By Melissa Castrillón for younger children
• Bear Came Along. By Richard T. Morris for younger children
• Because of the Rabbit. By Cynthia Lord for middle-school children
• Each Tiny Spark. By Pablo Cartaya for middle-school children
• All the Greys on Greene Street. By Laura Tucker for teenagers and high school aged children
Your reading Nook is also a great place to read and keep in touch with family members who live elsewhere. Bookship (www.bookshipapp.com) is a social reading app for sharing your reading experiences with friends and family. Especially now, we can’t always get together with our extended family – but we can still reading with them, virtually. Settle into your reading Nook and keep in touch with your reading buddies with Bookship.
How to Keep Your Project on a Budget
You don’t need to remodel your home or spend a ton of money to enjoy a reading nook at home. To keep things affordable, consider making your patio a reading space. Add a few comfortable outdoor chairs and make sure you have plenty of shade so you can get some fresh air and read while spending time in nature. When it comes to furniture for your reading nook, repurpose old pieces or shop at a thrift store to find affordable options. Since your reading nook will be tucked away in a corner or located in a smaller room, you won’t need to spend lots of cash on accessories and décor. Get thrifty and look for ways you can stock your reading nook without buying new. Ask your library about book sales or go online to find some book exchange programs. You can also find an endless array of used books online, so you don’t have to pay full price.
Whether you’re an avid reader or just enjoy the occasional best-seller, a reading nook is a perfect way to relax and spend your leisure time. Make sure your new space is comfortable and inviting and ensure that you have the right lighting to make reading easier on the eyes. If you have kids, design a reading nook that the entire family will enjoy. You’ll make memories together that will last a lifetime and help your children develop healthy lifelong habits that they can pass onto their kids, too.