There aren’t many feelings more soothing than curling up with a good book. Carving out time to relax and read is equal parts self-care and entertainment, as you immerse yourself in the words and worlds created by your favorite authors. Of course, it’s difficult to dedicate your full attention to that book when you’re uncomfortable or distracted. That’s why the right reading nook is important. Having a devoted spot to read is the ultimate luxury amidst a chaotic life.
These 10 ideas are designed to help you create a dedicated reading nook, so you can infuse your home with a little serenity and feel inspired to put aside the day’s stresses to escape into a book — at least for a moment or two.
1. Find a quiet spot
You’re not reading in a coffee shop or on the train; you’re reading at home. This should be your sanctuary, where you can read in peace. Make sure your designated reading nook is quiet and free from distractions. Maybe it’s behind closed doors in your people-packed house or tucked into the corner of a tiny studio apartment, either way, choose a location that brings you peace.
2. Invest in noise-canceling headphones
Quiet spots can be hard to come by, which is why a good pair of noise-canceling headphones is golden. They’re especially useful for audiobooks, helping you immerse yourself in a new world, where you can focus on the narrator’s voice and melt into the story.
3. Get comfortable
Invest in a good chair, throw some pillows in a corner, sprawl out on a bay window — these are all fine options, but comfort is key. You can’t properly enjoy your reading space if you’re constantly fidgeting or thinking about your aching back.
4. … But not too comfortable
Your bed or a recliner may be tempting, but it may also put you to sleep. Instead, try a chair with good back support that keeps you upright and attentive. Then again, this is your nook, and you should feel free to use it how you like. If reading makes you feel relaxed and helps you wind down, then hey, enjoy that nap.
5. Work your books into the space
This is where you will do your finest reading; the place where you engage in midday procrastination and take in the pages on your tablet. This is the spot where late-night binge sessions turn into very early mornings. So, keep a well-stocked bookshelf nearby for décor, moral support, and convenience. We recommend stocking your shelves with your all-time favorite reads.
6. Get the light right
Reading with a headlamp may have worked when you were hiding under the covers as a kid. But this is your chance to use the best light for your space. Situate your reading nook around a big window for natural light, or position your chair under a good lamp. You don’t want your eyes failing you as you dive deep into a new favorite.
7. Keep essentials close
You know how it is. Sometimes stealing away for a quick read turns into a marathon session. After a while, you look up and realize you haven’t eaten for hours. You’re thirsty, very thirsty. This is all avoidable. Before you begin, stock your reading nook with a few essentials, like a glass of water or a warm cup of tea, some snacks, a blanket and tissues — anything you might need while you’re engaged in a book.
8. Add ambiance
Your reading nook is where you go to relax. You know this because of the cozy seating and general vibe you’ve created. But you can dial up the relaxation with a scented candle or essential oil diffuser. Try a mild aroma that warms up the room with a pleasant scent, and sink even further into your chair — and your book.
9. Don’t forget a side table
You’re going to require a surface for storing all your stuff — and that surface shouldn’t be your lap. A good side table helps to complete the setting, but it also ensures you have plenty of room for your drinks and snacks (see tip No. 7).
10. Get a houseplant
Plants are soothing. Studies show plants — even those of the indoor variety — increase productivity and concentration. They also regulate humidity and decrease air toxins. So, there’s really no reason not to surround yourself with a plant or two as you read.