Private libraries were a must for wealthy families back in the day! However, now it is all about the reading nook. For book lovers in a world of technology, they’re actually even more crucial than ever. Plus, if you have kids in the house, a special space to enjoy books makes doing so even more appealing. Oh, and did we mention that it’s great fun for you too?
For these reasons and much more, it’s about time you added a reading nook to your home. But how? Where to begin? This guide will help. Here are eight questions with answers to lead you in the right direction!
Question: Where will the reading nook go?
First up, you need to decide where your reading nook will go. Make the most of the space available to you in the home. One of your first priorities will be finding a place where you won’t be disturbed. Be aware that the front of the home can often be the noisiest. This is to due to the fact that it usually has the closest proximity to any roads. Roads don’t just mean passings cars and other transport; they also mean passing pedestrians. This will also be the way any guests enter your house. With this in mind, wherever possible, put your nook in the quietest part of the house. This is usually towards the back.
That being said, your nook doesn’t necessarily have to be indoors. Do you have a garden? If so, why not make a proper project out of it? Buy a small shed, or build your own! Then use the space for a dedicated reading nook. If you have the budget, fit it out so it is suitable for all seasons. Line it so it will be insulated in the winter, and add a heat source. This could be an oil heater right through to underfloor heating if you have the budget! Add electricity so you can have proper lighting, and you’ve got the basis. It’s now time to think about the space you’ve created, and what kind of decor is right for you.
Question: What kind of space and decor will inspire you?
Reading is as much about what you can put in as you can get back out of it. You need to be able to focus to bring the story alive, but you also need to be in a space that will inspire you. So, what inspires you? Warm decor in Moroccan souk style hues of orange, brown and red? Or a clean and blank color scheme, like white and gray. Pretty fairy lights or stacks of other books surrounding you? What about the space in your peripheral vision. Do different objects distract you, or do they make you feel more homely? Finding out what will inspire you is as much about knowing how your brain works best as anything else. So, do an experiment. Spend an hour reading in a blank space, and then an hour in a busier space. Were you able to focus more in one than the other? Did you get more reading done in one? Take these things into consideration when deciding on the space.
Question: How shall I design and decorate it?
Now you can start the really fun part- decorating! A great thing about making a reading nook these days is that there is so much inspiration online. Take Pinterest for example. Here you’ll find a huge collection of images from all over the world. Some are nooks from creative amateurs at home, but you’ll also find ones created by professional interior designers! Plus, because it’s free, there is no need to splash out on overpriced magazines! Take some time to pour over what you find. Remember, you can mix and match ideas from different ones. So, if you like the bookshelf on one image but the festoon lights on another, that’s fine! If anything, that is even better, because it means the space you then design is uniquely yours. The best reading nooks you’ll see online have lots of comfortable cushions and attractive lighting. Some have something to physically separate the nook from the rest of the room. So this might be a canopy strung from the ceiling or a homemade teepee. While they look pretty fancy, you can actually make one yourself for next to nothing. Gorgeous looking teepees can actually be made by you yourself in under an hour, and you only need a few materials! Finally, think about what you will put on the walls surrounding you. You’ll need a bookshelf, of course, but how about some quirky artwork too. If you don’t have walls, string some homemade paper birds or honeycomb balls from the ceiling.
Question: Is there room for your collection to grow?
One final mistake people make when designing their nook is not considering that your book collection might grow. A good way to combat this is to leave a space near the top of your bookshelf. This allows you to add another one here in the future if needs be.
Question: Is the seating area just as comfortable as a bed or sofa?
Okay, here is a real sticking point. What will happen if you snuggle down in your new nook with a favorite novel, but after a few minutes start to feel uncomfortable? You’ll move somewhere comfier, like your bed or your sofa. Doing this completely defeats the object of having installed a reading nook! If anything, the space you make should be the comfiest space in the whole house. So think about what your seating will be. Lots of nooks require you to sit on the floor, but this then means you are on the hard ground. That’s why a good way to combat this is with a bean bag chair. They don’t take up too much room or ruin the decor you’ve invested so much time and effort it. But they do give you some good padding, and will keep you happy for as long as you want to read for. If you’re considering a bean bag chair, you can Find out more from Fombag.
Question: Is there a safe place to store a drink and snack?
A quick question to ask yourself and then rectify now. Is there somewhere you can pop a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits? You’ll want to have them within arms reach, and you won’t want to worry about them getting knocked over. A mug of tea over the pages of a fresh paperback are not a good combination. A floating shelf is a good option.
Question: Is the lighting sufficient? Finally, ask yourself a very practical question. How is the lighting? While dark and atmospheric might look cool, it won’t do your and your family's eyes any good at all. If we read when there is not enough light in the room, our eyes have to strain. This can lead to headaches and worse. Combat this by having sufficient lighting. A single spotlight might do the trick or a lamp with a good quality bulb. A set of festoon lights will also help you along, as well as looking gorgeous and adding to the decor.
Question: Do you need to update your book collection?
Congratulations! You should now have your reading nook! It will be in the best place in the house, in a space that inspires you. The color scheme and decor will suit you, and your creativity in the space will make a great environment for everyone. You’ve also installed some fantastic and comfortable seating options. Finally, you’ve made a place for a steaming hot cup of tea and a snack, and you can relax knowing your eyes can do their job properly.
You’re nearly at the end, but there are two more questions to go. How is your book collection looking? Does it need updating? It might be that it absolutely does not. If anything, it might be that you have way too many books! More than you can fit in the reading nook, even! However, even if this is the case, you might want to replace some of the most tattered copies. While they might feel special, you’ll only get frustrated when you’re reading an amazing thriller and all a sudden page 321 is missing! Bring your entire book collection down from wherever they are currently being stored and go through them. If you want to buy new ones or new copies, buying them from Amazon is one option. Here you can find a number of used paperbacks for almost free; you just have to pay for the postage. However, wherever possible, buy your new books from second-hand shops. This means you are supporting your local community, and keeping these lovely and important places open and thriving. Some will even offer you big discounts if you trade your own books in! Don’t forget your local library too. Membership will be free, and it will allow you to keep changing your books as you go through them.
There is one more thing to do, here, of course. Go and enjoy it!
This post has been contributed to prettysinglemom.com