Dreaming of a Reading Nook

I moved earlier this year, but in my last house, I set up a cozy reading nook with the best and most comfortable chair. I loved it so much. I am enjoying my new place, but it’s much smaller and doesn’t have a readily apparent space for a reading nook. I’m really missing my old reading nook, especially with the colder weather. There is nothing better than snuggling up in a favorite chair with a warm afghan and a hot beverage. But I’m good at thinking outside the box, and I’m making plans to set a new one up soon. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Having set a reading nook up before, I’m thinking about what I did last time, and how I might make it even better this time. Here are some of the things I’ve been thinking about, in case you too are dreaming of setting up the perfect reading nook.

Location, Location, Location

I think location is the number one consideration when setting up a reading space. My goal is to find or create a space that is private, peaceful, and quiet. The spot by the window that abuts the neighbor’s driveway will not do. I’ll pick a corner that is comfortable and cozy, not too warm and definitely not too cold or drafty. Somewhere away from noise and somewhere inviting, a place I will love to escape to with a good book.


I’m hoping for a space with lots of natural light for daytime reading, but I often read at night, so artificial lighting is a must. My research (yes, I’ve researched this) indicates the best light for reading comes from above and behind the reader and casts its light upon the pages of the book. I’ll make sure to choose lighting that is not too harsh and position the light so it doesn’t reflect glare into my eyes or cast shadows over what I am reading.

A Great Chair

Next to location, the chair is perhaps my most important consideration. When it comes to choosing a chair, I’ll take a tip from Goldilocks and select one that is not too hard, and not too soft, but just right! I’ll (hopefully) be spending hours and hours in this chair, so I want it to be comfortable. In my last place, I had a small recliner, and I loved it, but there’s just no room for it here. My son gave me a sweet, cushiony wingback chair, and I’m thinking it will do quite nicely. I’ll look for a small ottoman or footrest that can be tucked away when not in use for an added touch of comfort.


Ideally, my reading corner will be outfitted with a bookcase. The next best thing to carrying a book into my reading nook from another room is to pluck one from a shelf that’s within arm’s reach. But if that’s not an option, I’ll figure something else out—perhaps a basket filled with a few books from my TBR. I want to set myself up for success—if sneaking away to read requires a lot of thought or several steps, I’ll have time to lay a guilt trip on myself about what I should be doing. If the space is alluring and the books are right there, I’ll be more likely to sneak away from work for some much-needed reading time.


As I mentioned, I’m easily distracted from the things I enjoy by the things I feel I should be doing. Every time I get up from my reading chair to get a drink of water or a snack or a sweater, there’s a risk I’ll get sidetracked by work or dishes or laundry and never return. I’ll keep a cozy throw on the back of the chair in case I get cold. And I hope to include at least a small side table, so I have a box of tissues handy for tearjerkers, have my reading journal, pens, and highlighters at the ready, and can bring a glass of water and/or a hot cup of coffee or cocoa into the space with me. All the better to read uninterrupted. Maybe I’ll ban my phone from the reading nook!