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10 Inspiring Ideas for Reading Nooks

Book a seat in the coziest reading nook in town—the one at home

Joanna Linberg
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The Boho Persuasion

This corner takes all the mainstays of a reading nook and lightens them up for a look that wouldn’t be out of place in a beach house or minimalist cabin. A backless bookcase removes visual weight and artfully frames accessories just as well as tomes (amazing A-frame style not necessary, though totally awesome). A rattan rocker gets a comfort boost from a pillow.
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A Visit from the Glam Squad

A built-in bookcase tucked into the wall isn’t just ultra-chic, it saves on floor space. (And note how striking the contrasting finish of the wood is with the walls.) The perfect pairing comes in the form of a low-profile barrel chair that looks like it was pulled straight from a European hotel.
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Little Child Everywhere

When was the last time you saw a child doing anything while sitting primly in a chair? Most kids want the freedom to move, and a lounge-like sofa gives them plenty of opportunity for slinging a leg over the side, laying down, or flopping into whatever loose-limbed position is their favorite for reading. We won’t tell if you get in on the action, too.
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All Things Bright and Beautiful

Sometimes a corner is all you have, so count on colors and shapes to set your home library apart from the rest of the room. This Womb chair in banana yellow—Eero Saarinen’s classic wing chair for the Space Age—is a slight shift in style direction from the rest of the living room, so it gives the space instant identity.
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Super Rad True Love Story

It’s a classic coming-of-age tale: A wide hallway leads a normal life until a hero comes along and sees potential for so much more. After a makeover montage that includes classic built-ins, soft bench seating, and lipstick-red wallpaper, the hallway finds new purpose as a landing pad for young readers.
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Rich and Pretty

You’ve heard the phrase “lose yourself in a book.” Well, this is the ideal spot to do it. Prussian blue walls evoke the stately libraries you’d find in a historic European home, but the lounge-like sectional covered in purple velvet relaxes the overall vibe. Throw a sconce on the wall for nighttime reading and it will be even easier to tell yourself, Just one more page.
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A Room with a View

Not everybody has a jaw-dropping stone fireplace by which to devour the latest bestseller, but the rustic lodge reading area look can still be yours: Install thick wooden shelves in place of a bookcase, then winterize your nook with a shaggy rug and chunky basket of blankets. If you fire up the iPad to show flickering flames, we won’t judge.
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Into the Water

In what might be the easiest room makeover ever, a bathroom becomes a reading nook with the simple addition of a side table. Pull one up bath-side and you’re done. A super-petite “drink table” offers enough room for a glass and your latest read without hogging floor space.
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Small Wonder

In spots where a bookcase would be too bulky, try this minimal shelf. It shaves a few inches off the standard shelf depth and length but makes up for it in height: a full 96”. The powder-coated metal sets a modern industrial tone that takes to most décor styles.
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All the Light We Need to See

It goes without saying that a light source is a crucial component in a reading nook. But the style of light makes the difference between straining to see the words and breezing through a book like a boss. This task lamp has it all: A small base that tucks right next to your chair, an articulating arm so the light falls exactly where you need it, and a shade to focus the light on the page.
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The Happiness Project

Keep those shelves stocked with a book subscription. Many indie bookstores offer monthly picks tailored to your taste, while Amazon Prime members can sign their kids up for the Prime Book Box. You choose the frequency—every 1, 2, or 3 months—and select the age range of your child. You’ll get either four board books or two hardcover picture books with each shipment, depending on the age. The service is by invitation but good news: Anyone can request one.
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