For centuries people have used reading not only as a way to educate and improve themselves, but also as a foolproof trick for relaxing and unwinding after long, exhausting days. Many people will make some time to read before bed, claiming that it prepares them for a restful sleep. Whether it’s a few pages or a few chapters, many devoted readers indulge in their favorite obsession before they call it a day.
But reading in bed isn’t your only option. Once you’ve purchased your own home, you can choose where and how you’ll indulge in your love for books. Whether it’s a dedicated room or a simple, cozy nook, a separate space for reading is a must for many homebuyers.
When you’re creating a “library” space within your new home, the first thing you need to do is evaluate your reading habits, especially how you source your reading material. If you use e-readers or get most of your books from the library, you may want to scale down the size of your reading area a bit. If you prefer to buy physical books printed on paper, you’ll need more space for your hobby, especially if you tend to keep your books after you read them.
Make sure that you take into account the reading habits of every member of your family when you’re designing the space. If your spouse, children or other family members are also big readers, it may be your goal to devote an entire room to this quiet pursuit. If only one or two people in your home enjoy burying their nose in a book, minimal may be the key to the ideal reading space. How long you tend to keep your books may also direct your thinking. If you plan on keeping your children’s books in order to pass them on to your grandchildren or beyond, a tidy, well-designed space will not only store them efficiently, but keep them in beautiful condition for years.
It’s also critical to make sure that the space you’ve designed will have adequate lighting at all times of the day. Sweet, natural light is ideal for scanning the newspaper in the morning or browsing through a book during lunch on a Sunday. If you have a night owl in residence who devours books through the wee hours, essential reading lights prevent eyestrain and headaches.
Let’s look at a few ideas that may spark your imagination!
Book Nook Delight
If you have a small room available, or a large empty corner in a great room, add large, glass-front bookcases and a big squishy chair to attract the readers in your family. The bookcases will not only allow you to see your available books at a glance, the glass will protect them from dust, mold and insects. If you’re lucky enough to have natural light from a large window, you’ll only need to add a floor lamp you can place wherever it’s needed to allow for night reading. Use a multi-stage bulb to allow different levels of light for optimum convenience.
Reading for a Crowd
If you need plenty of room for a lot of readers, consider converting a spare bedroom into a library anchored by a comfy couch large enough for several people to enjoy. A sofa with chaise or recliner areas is an added bonus! You can also add individual chairs and a table or desk for leafing through large books or for homework.
The Multi-Use Space
If you love the idea of a home library, but need a guest room for frequent visitors, consider a room with dual personalities. The sofa bed and ottoman storage unit shown here give you the best of both worlds.
A Library as Art
A dedicated reading space doesn’t need to take up a whole room to be effective. It can also function as a unique design element within a room. Keeping it ultra-modern? Consider the reading “space pod”.
Or perhaps the bookcase/chair combination shown here:
If you only need space for a few books, and prefer to read outside, in bed or in the bathtub, storing your reading material can be a style statement as well as a way to keep things tidy. Bookcases can lend an air of personality and flair to your home in a relatively small space. Check out some of these showstoppers!
Indulge your love of books in any way you’d like! Your family’s sense of style is sure to come through in the way you decorate your home library.