If you’re a book lover, you’ve probably always dreamed of having a cozy library where you can curl up and lose yourself in a good book. When done right, a library or reading nook can be the most wonderful space for you to relax, unwind, and enjoy your favorite books. Whether you have a whole room to dedicate to your library or just a small corner, here are some tips on how to create your own relaxing reading space.
1. Choose Your Environment
Not everyone has the funds or room the make an entire library in their home, although that would certainly be nice. However, many small and dedicated space in your home can be the perfect solution even if you do not have a lot of room.
A window seat can be just as relaxing as an entire room filled with bookshelves and cabinets. A spare walk-in closet or the awkward space under the stairs can both become cozy reading nooks with some creativity. The point is to have that place you can go to delve into a book and let the world just fade away for a little while.
However, there is one place in your home that I think books definitely do not belong. I strongly agree with this blog that books do not belong in the bathroom.
2. Privacy Matters
Just like a library is supposed to be peaceful and quiet, you will want an area that allows you to be away from everyone for a little while. This is hard if you have a family or limited space, but it is possible.
Try to designate a specific time where you can be alone with your books even if you have to ask for help from your family members. If you can find a room away from everyone that is part of your home then this is the ideal way of doing it. However, if you cannot have an entire room to yourself then just choose a special place in your home that you can relax.
Add curtains or a privacy screen to a corner of a room to give the illusion of privacy while you’re reading.
3. Protecting Your Books
Book collectors know that keeping their books protected is of the utmost importance. This can be difficult if you have a family or live with others, but here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re trying to decide whether you want tall bookcases, cases with doors, etc. You should make sure to create a reading nook that is not only a great place to read, but that keeps your books happy as well.
Keep your books out of the reach of children by purchasing tall shelves. (Of course, books for your children should be left down where they will be accessible to them.) You can even DIY a sliding ladder if you have the space. That’s pretty much everyone’s dream to have.
Try to keep your books in an area away from dampness or heavy sunlight. If you have collectibles, make sure you are careful with the spines, don’t eat or drink when handling them, and that your hands are clean. You can even buy glass doors for your bookcase with locks to further protect your books.
4. Make it Cozy
Add pillows and your favorite blanket to make it more comfortable. Add a small side table where you can safely set a drink or some snacks without having to worry about spilling them.
If you use bookmarks, keep a drawer full of them next to your space so that you will always have one on hand.
And keep in mind that your space is simply that – a place you can go to get away from it all, even for just a little while so fix it up however you like. Whether it is a minimalist approach you want or you like it just a little more extravagant – the choice is all yours. The point is to enjoy yourself and get away from it all while you immerse yourself into the wonders of your favorite book.
5. Don’t Discount Lighting
Lighting is extra important as well. You might need an overhead lamp if you have a hard time reading. Some fun fairy lights around the bookcases and mood lighting can give you a fun and relaxing vibe as well.
Maybe you’d enjoy a dimmer that allows you to darken the rest of the lights in the room so that you can focus on the books.
6. Organize Your books
Some people go with a rainbow organization. Others by author, genre, age group, title, etc. Some people just wing it and organize their books by whatever feels right. You do whatever feels right to you. There’s not right way to organize your shelves.
One trick I have is to leave space throughout your shelves so that as you buy new books you can add them in where they fit without having to move and shuffle around all your shelves.
7. Make it Yours
There are so many fun ways to decorate your shelves. Whether it’s memorabilia that goes with the books, plants, knick-knacks, fairy lights, fun book ends, etc. There are so many things you can do to make your shelves truly yours.
8. Set the Mood
What do you like to do to set the mood? Is it turning on the fire and getting your coffee or tea ready? Maybe it’s opening a window so you can hear the birds chirping outside and feel the cool breeze?
Do you like background music? Set up a speaker so that you can have music softly playing in the background.
Maybe it’s turning off all of the lights in the house except for the ones in your reading area. Whatever it is, don’t underestimate the relaxation power of setting the mood.
The point is to make your private area a place that is peaceful, serene, quiet, and aesthetically pleasing so that you can relax, unwind, and read as long as you want.
9. When Your Shelves are Full, Edit
Another important key to keeping your reading area cozy and relaxing is by keeping it clutter free. Which means, when your bookcases are full, they’re full.
When you find yourselves getting full, it’s time to cut back on a few. Look through them and decide which books are really important. Odds are, you have a few books that you didn’t really enjoy taking up room on your shelves. Help them find a new home by donating them to schools, selling them on yard sale sites, or by giving them away to friends and family members.
One thing that I’ve started doing that has really helped keep me from filling up my shelves too quickly is by reading the ebook first. Sure, there’s a few authors that I know I’ll love that I will always auto-buy their hardcover books. However, for new books and authors that I’m not familiar with, I like to read the ebook version first. Then if I really love the book I’ll buy a hardback copy too, but if it wasn’t a winner then I’ve saved money by purchasing the ebook format and saved precious shelf space.
Do you have a reading area in your home? Share with us in the comments below!