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How To Create the Perfect Cozy Reading Nook

Written by Nicholas Crusie — September 24, 2021

How To Create the Perfect Cozy Reading Nook

Whether you’re an avid reader or just beginning to incorporate the habit into your life, one thing that can help you finish that to-be-read list is making sure you have the perfect place to do it. Creating a cozy reading nook is a great way to help set the mood for a nice date with your most recent book. 

Room upgrades can be overwhelming, but for this project, all you need is a space big enough for you to get comfortable. There’s no need to redo an entire room or make a fancy library—unless that’s something you really want! Stick with us, and we’ll walk you through the top things to keep in mind as you create your perfect cozy reading nook. 

Location, Location, Location 

This advice isn’t just limited to housing real estate; the location of your reading nook really matters. Before you decide where to put your reading nook, take a little self-inventory to figure out what exactly you need in a reading space.

Do you need complete silence? Placing your reading nook in the corner of the living room might not be the best idea! Are you hoping to read alone or curl up with your partner, kids, and pet and read together? You might need a little more space for that second option. Make a list of what is important to you, and select your space. 

Lighting Matters 

While it may be a myth that reading in the dark will ruin your eyes, it can cause temporary eye fatigue, which still isn’t great. Be sure to put your reading nook somewhere that is well lit. You may want to consider the type of lighting options you’re interested in as well.

Natural light is always a fantastic choice, but sometimes that’s not realistic. Consider some adjustable lights so you can control how bright the area is. If you’re feeling fancy, you could even add some LED light strips around your ceiling. 

Bonus lighting tips: 

  • Skip the overhead light. If you want to lay down or lean back while reading, this will either block the light completely or make it shine directly in your eyes. 
  • Position the light somewhere behind your chair so that it shines onto the pages, not into your face. 
  • Soft or natural light are the best options for creating a relaxing reading environment. 

Pick the Right Chair

Out of all the steps to creating a cozy reading nook, this is definitely the most important. After all, they didn’t come up with the phrase “Curl up with a good book” while sitting on an uncomfortable chair, did they? (We actually don’t know if they did or not, but it’s pretty safe to assume they didn’t.)

Here are three things you should look for in your reading nook chair: 

1.  Space 

How much space can you afford to give your reading nook chair? This can help narrow it down to suitable options. You may opt for a full couch if you have room, or maybe you’re more of a pillows and blankets person.

Our pick for the #1 coziest reading nook chair is definitely a bean bag. Soft enough to sink into or curl up in, it’s the ultimate choice. Haven’t thought about bean bag chairs since the ‘90s? They’re back, baby. Plus, space-saving is only one of the many perks of a bean bag chair.

2.  Versatility  

You may not always want to use your reading nook for reading. There are many other things you could use it for: Movie nights, sleepovers, or just to hang out. Make sure the chair you pick is versatile and comfortable for different sitting positions or even for taking a quick nap. 

Is your reading nook a permanent feature of your home, or do you need to be able to rearrange the furniture to make the space usable for another reason? Keep this in mind while choosing your chair. Be sure that you’re able to move it easily if necessary. 

3.  Support 

It’s important to make sure that your back and neck are well supported while you read. Sitting in an uncomfortable position with no support can give you headaches and shorten the duration of your binge-reading session.

Our favorite solution for a chair that’s comfortable and supportive? Our NEST chair. The chair supports every part of your body and has an added pillow to support your back and neck. 

Shelves and Book Carts and Book Stacks, Oh My!

This may seem like an obvious tip, but if you’re going to have a cozy reading nook, you’re going to need somewhere to place your books. The book storage method you choose can really help make a space your own.

You don’t need to feel confined to a traditional bookshelf.  There are so many cool bookshelves, book carts, and other ways of storing and displaying books that you’re sure to find one that sets the right vibe. 

Want to channel Belle from Beauty and the Beast? Go for some floor-to-ceiling shelves with a cute ladder. Get all your books from the local library? First of all, yay! Second of all, you might not need an entire bookshelf. Go for a book cart or book trolley instead. Into books for the aesthetic? Consider stacking them in different patterns against the wall. 

Book Nook Decor

Now that you have all the key items figured out, it’s time to move on to some optional fun decorations and accessories. Here are a few things we think can help take your reading nook to the next level of comfort and enjoyment

Set the Mood with Scents

Adding an essential oil diffuser, candles, or wall plugin can make your reading session a multi-sensory experience. Plus, it just makes it smell better. 

Want to get a little creative with scents that really set the vibe for what you’re reading?

Here are a few ideas: 

  • For a romance book, use scents like rose, lavender, or jasmine. 
  • For a mystery book, try out black spruce, peppermint, or violet. 
  • For a science fiction or fantasy book, use natural scents like sage, eucalyptus, or citrus.

Add a Few (or More Than a Few) Houseplants 

Adding plants to any space can automatically make it more pretty and welcoming, but that isn’t the only reason to include them in your reading nook. Plants can actually help increase your attention span and allow you to focus better. This is especially helpful if you’re not the type of person who instantly gets lost in a book. 

Cozy Up with Blankets

Adding a throw blanket can take your reading nook from comfortable to cozy in a flash. Blankets serve two purposes when you decorate. They’re great to keep you warm while you’re sitting and reading, and they also add a little bit of texture and visual interest to your chair while you’re not using it. 

Benefits of Reading 

You may be wondering why we’re helping you create the perfect reading nook instead of the ultimate gaming room. Well, nothing against video games (we can talk about those another time), but books are just...better! There are an incredible number of proven benefits to reading. Spending time reading makes you smarter, reduces stress, and helps you sleep better.

In case you’re not quite convinced yet, here are a few other benefits of reading: 

  • Reading improves vocabulary 
  • Reading prevents cognitive decline
  • Reading lowers your blood pressure
  • Reading helps fight depression

Reading can also help you empathize with other people, especially if you pick your books wisely and read a diverse selection of authors and topics. 

How To Pick Your Next Book

You may have a never-ending TBR list already, but if not, it might feel overwhelming choosing what to read next.

Here are a few ideas that might help: 

  • Use social media. From booktok to bookstagram, most social media sites have large communities of readers that are more than willing to help you find a book you’ll like. Search either of those hashtags (#booktok on TikTok and #bookstagram on Instagram), and you’ll find great books in no time.  
  • Don’t be ashamed to grab a best-seller. They sell well for a reason. There’s a good chance you’ll find something you enjoy if you take a look at the best-selling books from your category of choice. 
  • Ask a librarian. Your local library is a fantastic resource for finding books, audiobooks, and even other services. Your librarian would love nothing more than to help you find a great book. 

Finishing the Chapter

Now that you know what to keep in mind for your new space, it’s time to go make it a reality! Having a dedicated space will help you look forward to reading, whether it’s a textbook for school or the newest fiction sensation.

Don’t forget to pick your location wisely, light it well, and choose a cozy chair. You’ll conquer your reading goal in no time. 

Sources: 

Benefits of Reading | Healthline

Reading in Dim Light | Eye Health | WebMD

Houseplants Make You Smarter | Scientific American