Setting Up a Reading Nook
It's a new year and I'm starting by making sure all of my reading nooks are well-stocked and ready for use. Over the years I have dreamed of the day when I could stay home during a winter storm without having to go anywhere. The dream included having comfortable reading nooks where I could stay warm and read undisturbed.
Since my house has the "vibe" of a summer retreat, having reading nooks at almost every turn is not a surprise. So what does one need to set up a reading nook?
Ten Steps to Set Up a Reading Nook
1. Comfortable chair and complimentary foot stool. I scrounge for foot stools at thrift stores and antique shops and have a group that gets re-upholstered this year. I think that officially counts as a resolution, don't you? In case I can't get to that quickly, I match up the stools with complimentary chairs so at least they look like they should be together.
2. A handmade quilt or throw draped over the back or side for easy access. I suppose that's how those smaller handmade quilts got their common name as a "throw" as in "throw over a chair, a sofa..." Looks like I missed changing Santa Friends throw out for something more wintery and snowy.
3. Side table with help aids, such as a coaster and notepad/pen for making notes. I also leave a pair of inexpensive reading glasses, I have enough of those that I can almost leave one at every nook!
4. Fluffy soft throw pillows for placing behind one's back.
5. Baskets. I have them all over, some holding plants, others next to chairs to hold books and magazines. Place the books edge up so you can easily select a book to read.
6. Natural lighting and/or good reading lamps. Make sure the lamps have enough light so that you don't get eye strain.
7. Books and magazines.
8. Note card or something you can use for bookmarks. I like to use thank you cards, that way I get to re-read them every time I tuck them into my stopping spot.
9. A cat or dog for company. In winter, I also like having a fireplace going to keep the chill off the room. The fireplace, and baskets, tends to attract the cats so I also have towels that blend in with the chairs to pick up cat hair.
10. Did you notice I didn't mention a cell phone or Ipad? Research shows one of the healthiest things we can do is unplug so put the electronics on the "do not disturb" setting and take a break.
As look around my house, most of my nooks also include a live plant or plants, a nice addition against the snow-covered landscape outside.
Shop Library Book Sales
For the books, I go to two local library sales and save a pile of books for reading in the middle of winter. Sometimes they are several gardening books, other times its a mixture of garden-related books and favorite mysteries or something interesting I have always wanted to read. The "rule" is the books have to be saved for a snowy, wintery day so no peeking!
Reading Nooks Remind Us to Slow Down
Even if you can't stop and read at that exact moment, a reading nook should at least beckon you to think about stopping what you are doing and curling up in the spot to read. Or look out the window and enjoy the view.
What are your must haves for your reading nooks?