I am the queen of small spaces. I have a family of six. We are many, but our home is small. We have all that we need. Yet, I won’t tell a lie—especially since the pandemic began—I have begun to feel the lack of space.
During the long, winter months, we are inside for many hours. I knew when we moved to this house that I would need at least one space just for me. My nook is the size of a small closet (not one of those walk-in closets that could be your first-born’s nursery).
I have a small, comfortable chair, a weighted blanket, a tiny side table and a footrest. My current reading list fluctuates from the side table to my nightstand. Much of my house is dedicated to the needs of others. Yet, this small space has meaningful quotes, poems and photos on the wall that are just for me.
Much of my house is dedicated to the needs of others. Yet, this small space… is just for me.
I keep earbuds close. If my family is noisy, then I turn on white noise or classical music and read. Some days, if I do not have the patience or time for a novel, I pull up a David Whyte or Mary Oliver poem on my phone and read for a few moments while taking deep, full breaths.
The idea of a reading nook is to create space for the pause of life. I have busy days, and my body is wired kinesthetically to move a great deal. It takes me a bit to settle into reading, but there is something nurturing about leaving my digital distractions, slowing my body and opening a real, paper book.
I have an e-reader but sometimes crave the feeling I had as a teenager when I would plow through a whole book (and what felt like a whole new world) in one afternoon. A physical book with white pages, a stiff binding and a tangible cover are grounding.
A physical book with white pages, a stiff binding and a tangible cover are grounding.
Follow your whimsy as you create a reading nook.
Here are a few questions to consider when creating your own reading nook:
- What space in your home can you imagine snuggling into?
- What textures, fabrics, smells and art seem to resonate in your heart?
- Do you have a chair or floor pillow you could repurpose for the space? I have a meditation pillow that I use on my lap as a prop for my book or at my feet as a footrest.
- Do you plan to share your nook?
Here are a few simple ideas to help you get started:
- Use corner shelves or a sturdy basket to collect family reading favorites.
- Stack throw pillows in a corner to use on the floor as extra seating or to support your back.
- Collect blankets of different weight and texture to soothe tired bodies.
As fall rounds the corner and winter comes up just behind it, a reading nook can become a sacred space for the intentional pause. It could also double as an additional learning space or just a place to breathe while the rest of the world whirls on by.
Do you have a reading nook in your home? What details did you focus on when creating it?
Image via Tony Li