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reading corner

Woman reading a book in reading corner on cozy armchair
Lettering in cursive script "Just Relax
Every bookworm wants a quiet and cozy place to read. We'll give you tips on how to set up your perfect reading nook.

When there’s not enough room for more: set up a reading nook

Making the best of the given opportunities

Every bookworm dreams of having his own reading room with nothing but the many paths to other worlds, unknown or known, and a cozy place to lose yourself in them. But at least of us have enough space to dedicate a whole room to our written friends, so most of the time we have to settle for a small place and create a reading corner. But this does not have to be as dramatic as it sounds, because reading corners have their own charm and even with little space there are many options open to you. In this article, you’ll find tips and tricks to set up your perfect little reading nook.

These elements should not be missing in any reading corner

Everyone knows roughly what should be in a reading corner. The first thing that comes to mind are bookshelves and a seat where you can lounge and read comfortably. But what about the right environment, lighting, extra blankets and pillows or decorations? There are so many factors that can make the reading nook a cozy retreat. But which ones you prefer, you’ll have to figure out for yourself. Some like their reading corner simple and with subtle colors, others like it colorful and with a lot of decorative elements. The most important thing: Whatever you choose, it’s all about you liking it and enjoying being there and feeling comfortable.

Tip 1: The right environment for your reading corner

You should make sure that you set up your reading corner in a quiet place, so preferably not in the hallway where everyone is walking, because a quiet and relaxed environment is very important to be able to dive into your books undisturbed. You don’t need a lot of space, just 4-5 square meters can be enough to create a nice, cozy reading corner. Whether you set up your reading corner, for example, in the living room or in the bedroom is up to you, but it should best match the rest of the decor. If you have children, you should consider setting up a reading corner in the kids’ room for your offspring as well. If you like reading e-books, make sure there’s an electrical outlet nearby when setting up your reading nook.

Tip 2: Accommodation of the books

What must not be missing? Exactly: shelves!

Among the most important are of course the bookshelves, because if you see your books right next to your seating, you are even more tempted to sit down and forget the daily grind with a nice book. But there is so much choice in bookshelves, how to choose? And what to do if you have limited space? Do you want your books to be neatly lined up on your shelf or do you prefer a bit of clutter with some decorations on the shelf? Should it be a stinkin’ standard shelf with horizontal boards or would you prefer something fancy? Both book arrangement preferences and shelf aesthetics can have an impact on whether you feel comfortable in your reading nook. A friend of mine keeps rearranging her books at fairly regular intervals because she’s suddenly not happy with the arrangement. For such cases, the bookshelves should definitely be easily accessible.

Different types of shelves

There are the traditional bookshelves, with horizontal boards that are spaced apart by book, in rows. They can be bought in different sizes, which makes them the perfect choice, even for small reading corners. But there are also bookshelves that can serve as room dividers, where you can put books or decorative items in from both sides. This shelf shape would be useful if you want to further separate your reading nook from the rest of the room. In addition, there are also more unusual shelf shapes, such as, for example, a shelf in the shape of a tree, which is placed on the wall. In terms of shelves, there are no limitations, except personal taste and available space.

Sorting the books

There are many different ways to sort one’s books: By genre, by author, alphabetically or by favorite books. In recent years, especially the so-called rainbow bookshelves are very popular, where you simply arrange your books by cover color. The sight is beautiful, but you should be aware that you may have books of a series in different places and books can no longer find so quickly. Personally, I’ve often thought about sorting books by color, but on the one hand I don’t want to jumble them up so haphazardly, and on the other hand I don’t think I have enough books for each color, since most of my covers are either very dark or very light. My preferred sorting method is English and German books separately and my favorite books/favorite authors go where I can see them best.

Reading corner with reading armchair, cushion, side table, lamp and blanket

Tip 3: The right light for your reading corner

Lamp shape

Daylight is best for reading, but not everyone can set up their reading nook next to a window. Even if it’s dark outside and you want to read, the right lamps with enough light are indispensable so you don’t strain your eyes too much. Ceiling people are not enough. Optimal for reading are height-adjustable floor lamps or clamp lamps that can be attached directly to the shelf and have a swiveling lamp head so that the light lands exactly where you need it and doesn’t blind you. Another option is reading lamps that you can attach directly to the book. But be careful that these aren’t too heavy, as you’ll have to hold them up and down in addition to the book’s weight.


All light sources are suitable for reading. So energy-saving lamps, LEDs or halogen lamps: as long as they are bright enough. A luminosity of between 300 and 500 lux would be optimal. It should be noted that in old age the visual performance decreases somewhat and then about twice as much brightness is needed as in younger years. If readers of different generations use the reading corner, a light source with a dimming function would be advantageous. If you want even more information on the right light, take a look at Focus Online’s article Bright corners for bookworms – The optimal light for reading.

Tip 4: Seating

Of course, a comfortable reading chair or other seating on which you can lounge should not be missing! Reading furniture comes in many shapes and colors, so there’s something for everyone’s taste and seating and reading preferences. Reading chairs are the classic form of reading furniture and they don’t take up that much space, but comfortable sofas or maybe even a beanbag are also possible. Bean bags are even more space efficient than some armchairs.

Reading armchair

Not all reading chairs are the same. Again, there are many different shapes that are suitable for different seating positions and locations. If you want to learn more about different types of reading armchairs, feel free to check out our article“The Perfect Reading Armchair“.

Other seating furniture

Or do you rather need more space while reading and like to change your sitting position, like me? Then sofas or chaise longues are the practical alternative to an armchair. They offer more space to spread out comfortably or snuggle in close. But of course, they also take up a lot of space and so are not really suitable for a small reading corner. Therefore, if you’re short on space, a hanging chair is a good choice. Or if you have a house or apartment with large, low windowsills, you could also line them with soft cushions or pillows and turn them into a comfortable seating area.

Tip 5: Blankets, pillows and rugs

To make it even more cozy and cozy, the presence of pillows and blankets is indispensable. They create a homey atmosphere and invite you to never get up again. And that’s exactly the feeling you should have in your perfect reading corner, after all. A fluffy rug under your feet reinforces this feeling, plus your feet won’t get cold as quickly as on tile or laminate flooring. When setting up a reading corner, it can’t be fluffy enough in my opinion, which is why I have a lambskin r ug, for example.

Tip 6: A small table should not be missing

A small side table should definitely not be missing in your reading corner, because you will need space to put your cup of tea, a small bowl of snacking and the book you are reading. If you have very little space, an alternative to the side table would be simply a free space on the shelf, at a height that you can reach while sitting relaxed. But for this, of course, the seat must be close enough to the shelf. There are also small sliding brackets or tables with wheels underneath, which you can always comfortably adjust or push to the side.

Tip 7: Decorations enhance the reading corner even more

For many people, decorations are a must. Be it pretty pictures on the wall or vases, flowers and other decorative items on the shelf: They all spice up the reading corner even more and give it a personal touch. For me, it’s mainly self-made decorations that I’ve received as gifts from friends that stand next to my books. You can also attach super fairy lights to bookshelves, which give it an even cozier atmosphere. Fairy Lights, stars, lanterns: Due to the large selection, there are no limits to your own imagination.

Additional tip: Set up a reading corner in the children’s room

You want to motivate your offspring to read? Then create a cozy corner for your children, too, where they can read in a relaxed way. Colorful accents of color are definitely desired here, just like matching reading material that can be placed on ledges on the wall, for example, so that the kids can directly see the colorful and inviting front pages. Wall tattoos and a bit of toys round it all out. For seating, soft beanbags, thick rugs or even small armchairs are recommended here. If you want to create a really special reading experience for your little ones, you can build a little tent or maybe even a reading cave with some sticks and cloths.

Final words

Now that you’ve received some inspiration and information about setting up a reading nook, you can get to work creating your own reading nook to feel good and browse. If you need some more inspiration, check out the video further up in the article – it shows a lot of interesting reading corners. And with that: On your mark, get set: set up a cozy reading corner, sit down and read! We hope you have fun with it.

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