Food For Thought

Creating the ultimate book nook

If, like me, you are a booklover, you probably dream about having a library filled with your favorite books or priceless first editions, but for the majority of us the dream will never become reality. Most of us have to make do with what we have and create our own little book nook in a corner of our home.

Why bother with a dedicated book space?

A home without books is incomplete and there is nothing more enjoyable or satisfying than curling up with an old favorite or a new book and escaping into another world, if only for a few hours. A dedicated reading space can help you achieve that. The great thing about a book nook is that it is specifically intended for those small, awkward places in your home that are not fit for anything else, such as that space underneath the stairs, the side panels in a window seat, or the space in the eaves.

bookshelfStyle as well as function

A book nook needs to look good as well as serve a practical function. If there is room in the spot you have chosen for your book nook, make sure you invest in the perfect bookcase to display all your books. If, however, the space is small and awkward, it is likely that you will need to build your own shelves. This has a greater potential than it sounds, as you can customize your own bookshelves to fit your books. You can even shut out the world – actually rather than metaphorically – if your book nook is recessed, by hanging up curtains that can be pulled across the opening when you are inside.

A book nook is a great opportunity to zone a larger room, decorating the reading area in a totally different way to the rest of the space and thereby defining its function and extent. You can make it completely yours by choosing patterned wallpaper to contrast with plain walls, or vice versa. Remember to include a small table or platform for that essential cup of tea or coffee.

kidsbooknookEncouraging children to read

There has been much argument in recent years over the apparent decline in children reading books, with them preferring to sit on the couch and play computer games instead, but this is where a book nook can change things. Kids like to get into small places and hide away so a book nook is the perfect spot for them. Kit out the book nook to make it comfortable with cushions, a throw and a rug, if necessary. Make sure that there is ample light to read by so that the children do not start straining their eyes. Do not include any other technology unless, of course, it is an eReader, as you do not want to distract the children from the main focus of the area, the books. You can even provide pencils and paper and encourage your child to write their own story, getting inspiration from the books.

A book nook should be something of a refuge, a place to retire to enjoy the pleasures of other times, other places. Decorate it in such a way that it feels welcoming and relaxing, somewhere you want to spend time.

Contributed by Luke Scott