Reading is a personal pastime and many of us indulge in less than perfect situations. We grab a bit of reading time when we're on the train, waiting for meetings to start, coffee to arrive at Costa, before bed and we all want to read more...but, given the opportunity, how would we create the perfect reading space?.
These are the things we have to take into consideration:
To get in a good reading session we have to have somewhere where we will not be disturbed. Preferably a quiet spot in a part of the house that doesn't serve as a thoroughfare to the kitchen, a small room at the back of the house maybe. Or if you don't mind public places and rigid hours, a public library where noisy sorts will be removed.
Some people actually like the bustle of life and have a regular spot in their local cafe, where they can sit uninterrupted for a few hours while the world rolls by. Close to freshly served coffee, too, works for some. Worth considering.
British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill was known for doing a lot of his reading and writing standing up, but for the majority of us mortals we need to sit down. What kind of seat should we choose? The correct posture chair, with a straight back where our feet touch the floor? Perhaps, but as we ideally will spend several hours (potentially) we need something extremely comfortable.
A winged armchair gives the support with its high back, padded for comfort and the wings allow us to drop off and wake up without a stiff neck. The wings also cut out any potential draughts.
A beanbag is great for children especially as it allows us to sit quite upright or as flat as we like, change position and be supported at the same time.
Good lighting is essential. Dim lights make look cosy and atmospheric but it can lead to eyestrain and that can give aching eyes. Not good
Natural light is always best, so place your chosen seat as close to a window as possible. A south-facing window means that the sun will shine through all day, which sounds nice but could end up being too bright or hot, particularly as the day wears on. Ideally a large north-facing window is best for reading. If a window seating area is not possible - and of course, night time and winter when the sun is reluctant - artificial lighting is required. A standard lamp or reading light is the best option as you can have the light close and angle it for optimum effect.
Books need to be accessible and stored somewhere. In a public library they are everywhere, and in our own homes a bookcase or shelf close to our reading space is a bonus. Even if we read ebooks primarily, we still need a little table (at least) to keep it on. It is also a good idea to have a reference book, thesaurus and an atlas to help fill in the missing details the books don't provide. If you have free wall space add a world map.
5. Creature Comforts
Plenty of cushions to support the back, elbows and fill in those pesky hollows, (reading pillows are actually a thing) plus a blanket for the colder evenings and scary books. A themed tissue box for the sad bits, a coffee table so we can put our refreshments and reading glasses somewhere. Also I like to have a notebook and pencil handy so I can note down the author's name for future reference. Yes, sometimes I forget who I'm reading.
Neutral colours work best or tranquil and calming colours such as blue or green. If we want to be inspired by great writers, then some prints of book covers or great quotes can adorn the walls. A candle, fresh flowers or a pot plant add to the atmosphere and make the reading space feel special.
For book selections have a look at my book reviews.