Reading takes you away from the here and now, expands your mind and challenges your views. Of course you can read anywhere, but having a special place for reading underlines how precious it is.

Making a cosy little reading corner at the bookfair. Reading nook

Making a cosy little reading corner at the bookfair. © Pratham Books and reused under

A reading nook is much more than a window seat or an odd piece of unused space in the house. It's a place where a reader can feel completely comfortable and at home.

Read in comfort and feel protected

It’s essential to have enough room to take up your preferred position for reading. Some people sit upright at a table and others sprawl on a couch. Some people lie on their fronts and others lie on their backs with their knees up. Whichever position you favour, you’ll want to feel safe and that your back is protected. When you’re lost in a book you really don’t want to be crept up on!

Enjoying the reading nook.

Enjoying the reading nook. © Shelly Fryer and reused under

A sofa or an armchair might be a good choice for you. Or what about a daybed? Don’t forget sun loungers for outside.

Comfortable upholstery and cushions are a must to prop yourself in your favoured position.

If you’re reading with a baby or a child (probably one of the nicest things to do, ever) you’ll need extra cushions and perhaps a blanket or two. Have fun reading books, comics, catalogues, newspapers, leaflets – whatever comes to hand. Take your time. Have a laugh and a giggle.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr. Reading nook

The Tiger who came to tea by Judith Kerr. © Ruth Hartnup and reused under

Proper light

Inside, you’ll need a good lamp for gloomy afternoons or long evenings. Make sure there’s no glare or reflection (from big windows, for example, or mirrors) to distract you or cause eye strain. Don’t decorate with bright colours because they can flash at the corner of your eye and distract your attention.

Reading corner with armchair and lamp. Reading nook

Reading corner with armchair and lamp. © Kotivalo and reused under

Outside, you might need a good parasol.

A table or sound surface

Most readers would welcome a table of some kind for a cup of tea (or a bottle of beer), possibly a slice of cake, and maybe a notebook and pencil.

Couchiching Reading Nook Flickr Ryk Venema

Lake Couchiching reading nook, Ontario, Canada. © Ryk Venema and reused under

Make sure that there’s somewhere, further than arm’s length away, that’s suitable for your mobile phone. You’ll still be in touch but you won’t be tempted to fiddle with it.

What else?

You certainly don’t have to be surrounded by books to enjoy your reading nook. Some shelves would be good, though, especially if you have more than one book on the go as so many of us do.

Create your own reading corner. Somewhere that’s large enough and comfortable enough, with a good light and something to read. You’re all set!