Friday Favorites: Reading Nooks

Recently I was asked my opinion on what makes for an ideal reading nook. The first thing to come to mind was an image from my childhood copy of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women:

“Jo! Jo! Where are you?” cried Meg at the foot of the garret stairs.

“Here!” answered a husky voice from above and running up, Meg found her sister eating apples and crying over The Heir of Radclyffe, wrapped up in a comforter on an old three-legged sofa by the sunny window. This was Jo’s favorite refuge, and here she loved to retire with half a dozen russets and a nice book, to enjoy the quiet and the society of a pet rat who lived near by, and didn’t mind her a particle. As Meg appeared, Scrabble whisked into his hole. Jo shook the tears off her cheeks, and waited to hear the news.
(pg 20 of my 1950 Nelson Doubleday abridged edition)

I used to study this illustration so intently that I eventually broke the spine of the book. It still appeals to me today. I love the cluttered Gothic/Romantic surroundings, the cushiony divan with sufficient back support, the fact that there’s plenty of light from the window and the overhead fixture (though is the latter strictly period?), and that Jo enjoys the company of a rat, who sadly is not pictured. This image features her writing rather than reading; nevertheless it is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of reading nooks.

I did a little image search on reading nooks, and found these particularly inviting:

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I see lots of window nooks like this, but I like this one particularly because the pillows actually look large enough for comfortable reclining, and the window offers light but isn’t so large as to make the area too hot in summer or chilly in winter. Having grown more claustrophobic with age, I could do without the curtain. As a kid, however, I would have loved to close myself up in that little space! (And now I’m having visions of a scary scene involving a curtained reading nook. Ooooh!)

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Oh, I do love this one! One could recline with back supported and legs extended. Plenty of light, and loads of books nearby. One could pull that table near and set a cup of tea on it. (One must be careful not to spill one’s tea on the upholstery, however.)

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This more modern option offers ultimate comfort and style, with a lovely view to boot (but not so close to the window as to feel a chill).

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I do love this child’s nook option, but the ladder makes me nervous!

Where do I read, you ask? (Or pretend that you did, anyway.) Actually, I have two favorite spots to share with you:

This chair, which long ago belonged to my in-laws, sits in a corner of my office. It is old and saggy, but it reclines and there’s a lovely footrest that pops out. So comfy. All I’m lacking is a table for my tea cup.

This is the Arhaus Landsbury sectional, which I chose specifically for the chaise. Here I can stretch out, my back supported and legs extended, and there’s a table nearby for my tea cup. (Take a peek at the other sectional sofa options at Arhaus.) Best of all, in cold weather I can contemplate the fireplace when I glance up from my book. And always, whether I’m on the saggy blue office chair or on the living room chaise, Cedric the cat is right there with me.

Where do you read? Do you have a nook? Or the perfect vision of a nook? If so, please share!


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6 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Reading Nooks

  1. Dee Dee Chumley

    Although I love their style, chaise lounges tend to hurt my back if I spend much time in them. As far as I’m concerned, for comfy reading, a recliner can’t be beat. And if you (and by “you” I mean “I”) happen to doze off, recliners offer the perfect place for a short nap.

  2. Michelle Lunsford

    The pictures you shared are all charming reading nooks, each in their own way. My own favorite reading spot is in our living room, in “my corner” of the sofa. There’s a nearby table for cups of tea. Several different throws in the ottoman. I love the spot, because it’s where I like to go for both my devotional reading as well as my leisure reading.

    However, I do have ideas for my dream reading nook, which I hope will someday be part of our retirement home. A cozy room, with shelves around every wall – except for where there’s a lovely window for light and a view of the outdoors – with a comfy chair (something that allows for both cuddling up and stretching out), a table for books, tea, some chocolate now and again, maybe even a candle. A basket or bin nearby with a couple of throws. *happy sigh*

    1. SoniaG Post author

      Your dream reading nook sounds so lovely. I am pretty pleased with my office nook, but I do fantasize about a slightly more handsome recliner. It is ever so warm and cushiony, however!

  3. Shel Harrington

    As a youngster I yearned for a windowseat reading nook after reading The Velvet Room (still an all time favorite!). Sadly, that dream was never achieved. So now I over-compensate – I have a reading corner in the living room, the bedroom, my home office and my porch. While they each have their own special quality, it’s hard to beat the one with the view of the fireplace during the winter chill!

    1. SoniaG Post author

      Oooh, The Velvet Room! I need to revisit that. And I applaud you for such a variety of reading nooks. Clearly you’re a pro at this, Shel!


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