Curl Up With a Good Book

Personal libraries are so passé: Inspiration for converting an unused space into a cozy reading nook


Although the advent of e-readers and smartphones changed the way we read, it didn’t change where we read. In a perfect world, we’d all have personal libraries in which to lose ourselves for hours amid rows of leather-bound books.

In reality, we’re lucky to have an armchair with good lighting. But you don’t to be a millionaire to have a pleasant in-home space to consume books. Feast your eyes on our favorite reading nooks from Pinterest

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Reading cave under the stairs: There’s a good chance the space underneath your stairs currently consists of a closet or is simply a wall you’ve never given much thought. Well, think again. With a little elbow grease, this could be the coziest spot in your house. A built-in bench, or just a repurposed coffee table with throw pillows, makes a perfect reading perch. Add in a small bookshelf and the space really starts to take shape. Lighting is the biggest challenge in this nook, as it is window- and outlet-less. If hiring an electrician isn’t in your budget, an extension cord run under the carpet or behind the bench will power a lamp. 

The instant bay window: Would that we all had an expansive bay window in our homes. But fear not if all you have is a regular ol’ windowpane. With these plans from plansnow.com, you can convert your run-of-the-mill-window into an enviable reading space. Seating below the window takes advantage of great natural lighting, and the shelf space is nothing to scoff at either, with plenty of room for books and décor. 

The cozy converted closet: This idea is pretty genius – for those who have a closet to spare, that is. The snug space gives the reader a cocoon-esque literary experience. Because it is, essentially, a mini-library, this space is perfect for pint-sized readers, but it can be built to accommodate adults. Happily, built-in lighting is almost guaranteed, shelves are easy to add, and you have a choice of seating, ranging from a bench or chair to even a hammock.

The natural reading nook: In Dallas, as long as it’s not June, July or August, outdoor reading is a delightful experience. Shade is always a premium, and this reading nook lets Mother Nature do the work. Suitable around any large tree trunk, this wraparound bench should be covered in an outdoor-friendly fabric. By adding back support, this space goes from temporary seating to the perfect place to kick back and knock out 100 pages. 

Pint-sized paradise: While the converted closest reading space is amenable to children, this nook is truly child’s play. There’s no need to bother with actual furniture when the kids would rather lie on the floor, anyway. Install a curtain rod six to eight feet from a window or wall, attach shelves to the wall, throw in a couple of pillows or a bean bag chair, and – voila! – a reading nook is born.

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