I have always loved to read – always! As a child I lovingly and laboriously wrote my name in all my books. I shelved them in my bookcase by their author’s surname (already a budding librarian in the making!) My mum would buy me a new book every time we went to town. My favourites ranged from Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators to The Magic Faraway Tree to the Twins at St Clares to The Meg Mystery series.
When I was about 10 years old my family moved into the house my parents still live in today. I had a tiny but perfectly formed bedroom with very 70’s styled purple net curtains, room for my single bed, my upright piano and a small bookcase, and that was about it. The only other piece of furniture in the room was a wardrobe. It was a built-in wardrobe but not built in right up to the ceiling. There was a space between the top of the wardrobe and the ceiling which was just big enough for me. (This picture is the closest I could find to it. Just imagine it without the top cupboards.)
I loved nothing more than throwing my pillows and rug up there and, along with my book du jour and essentials such as something to quench my thirst and keep the tummy from rumbling, I would climb up there and burrow into my own personal reading nest. I felt like it was my own wee world where I was hidden away and out of sight. Plus it had the added advantage of being out of my little sister’s reach! (she was only 6 and couldn’t climb!). In my head this is what it looked like. What little girl wouldn’t love a space like this?!
Now, as an adult I still have that hankering for a special reading place, one where I can be in my own wee world again, surrounded by the things that make me happy. I would settle for a special chair – I’m envisaging an oversized wing-backed chair with a seat you can sink into and lots of soft cushions with room to curl up in. So I began an on-line hunt in search of a picture of that perfect chair. I think this one would be the closest I’ve come across to date, though I’d want bigger arms and maybe a wider seat and I would want it in rich warm colours and textures.
And then of course the space where it would live would have to be just right. This picture just about has it right.
Rugs and cushions – check
Footstool – check
Table for books, drinks, nibbles, notepad – check
Lamp for good reading lighting – check
Bookcases within handy reach – check
Even has an open fire next to it which would be a bonus!
I still hope that one day I can have my special reading nook. My current home doesn’t have the luxury of enough space for this (though I do have my working/writing space the way I want it, so that’s a good start) but I feel confident it’ll happen one day.
So what about you? Do you have your own reading nook or a favourite place to read? What are your key elements crucial to creating that space? I’d love to know if you also had a special reading place as a child and if that impacted on your love of reading.
I’ve created a Pinterest page called Reading Nook with other examples of some great spaces.