How to Create the Perfect Reading Corner

I love reading and am always on the hunt for the next best book – but it wasn’t until we created this perfect (for us!) reading corner during quarantine that we really started to dive into the pages.

I’ve already done one or two blog posts with my top book picks for 2020 thus far, but I hadn’t really taken ya’ll on our journey to create the perfect DIY reading nook. And in all my hunting for the perfect inspiration for a reading corner online, I couldn’t find much!

So if you’re looking for reading corner ideas – I gotchu. Let’s take a look.

Looking for reading nook inspiration? Look no further. Kelsey from Blondes & Bagels shares her cozy reading corner in this handy how to blog post.
Looking for reading nook inspiration? Look no further. Kelsey from Blondes & Bagels shares her cozy reading corner in this handy how to blog post.

Why even make a reading corner?

Reading corner home ideas online seem scarce. It made me think…why even make one?​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Living in a San Francisco apartment – space is limited for us. Even with the limited space we have, a cozy reading nook became a hot idea and high priority for us because wow do we love to read. Both KB and I are big readers and while it’s easy to let life get away from you – and reading slowly falls off the list of priorities – we’d both love to keep reading as a part of our daily rituals.

Having a dedicated space to comfortably read and an inspirational environment means we are more likely to pick up our books and make the time. It’s almost like having a home gym – it’s easier to motivate when the physical space is staring you right in the face. And honestly I’d much rather read than work out. LOLZ.

Looking for reading nook inspiration? Look no further. Kelsey from Blondes & Bagels shares her cozy reading corner in this handy how to blog post.

​​​​​​​My 5 keys to a perfect reading corner.

A cozy, supportive seating setup.

The most important part of a reading nook (minus, oh, I don’t know – the BOOKS lol) is a comfortable and supportive chair + footrest. The goal when reading really is to get into that perfect flow state – which is much more likely to happen if you’re comfortable and cozy.​​​​​​​

We’ve actually had a papasan chair floating around our apartment for years at this point. It never really found a great home until we created the reading corner! I love that you can perfectly sink into this chair and literally curl up for the ideal reading experience (without any back pain). I found a pouf for a reasonable price at Target so that there’s an easy access foot rest in case we’d like to fully kick back while diving into the latest page turner.

I also added a little basket with a blanket or two off to the side, so that if we’re really feeling the reading flow state we can fully cozy on up. San Francisco definitely gets a little chilly, so having a basket of blankets nearby means we don’t have to crawl out of our reading position to find some much needed warmth.

Inspiring artwork.

I owned a couple Alice in Wonderland themed prints from Rifle Paper Co. prior to our reading corner adventures. I knew once we really started planning the space that I wanted to get additional book themed artwork into the mix.

We all know I love a good gallery wall – but in a reading corner it really does make all the difference. The height of the gallery created a cozy, tight corner that feels inviting to burrow in while reading a good book.

I found all the prints I added on ETSY as digital artwork and my lovely dad did us a solid by printing them all out and helping us frame. I definitely recommend looking into printing your own artwork to save on cost – it’s insane just how much money you can save this way!

Looking for reading nook inspiration? Look no further. Kelsey from Blondes & Bagels shares her cozy reading corner in this handy how to blog post.
Looking for reading nook inspiration? Look no further. Kelsey from Blondes & Bagels shares her cozy reading corner in this handy how to blog post.

Your favorite books on display.

We purchased this specific bookshelf mostly just because it was affordable and a good medium size – it fit perfectly next to my new standing desk. This shelf also fits just about our entire library! Which admittedly is rather small (lol).

We’re big Kindle readers so don’t have a ton of physical books, but made sure to display our absolute favorites where we could see them as our eyes wander off the page mid-reading session. I love being able to scan over my favorite stories and get inspired to find more favorites.

The entire top shelf is dedicated to Harry Potter – we’ve got one full set and hopefully will be completing some other special sets in the future! HP is hands down my favorite series of all time. I have a soft spot for collecting old childhood favorites. I even recently picked up copies of the Artemis Fowl series and one of my all time childhood favorite reads…Holes! I still remember my first copy of Holes – it was SO beat up from all the times I read it!

I also tried to organize the books somewhat by color. I definitely prioritized keeping an entire series together (like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings), but for those books not in a series, I sorted by color for easy reference. It’s incredibly aesthetically pleasing, if I do say so myself. If sorting by color isn’t your jam, you can stick to sorting by series or even alphabetically – I just admittedly don’t have the patience to maintain an alphabetical set up. It’s much easier for me to toss books back into the mix by color.

Functional reading corner furniture.

A handy side table.

I’m a very hydrated human. I typically always have a water bottle nearby, and while reading I love a little tea. Before adding the side table to our reading nook set up – you’d have to juggle your beverage of choice in one hand and your book in the other.

Not great.

Adding a side table next to our papasan chair has made all the difference. I can casually set down my water, tea, phone, etc onto the table to have all my necessities within easy reach. Side tables also don’t have to be expensive. We found this one at Target for a really reasonable price – and I feel like it looks way more expensive than it actually was!

A reading lamp for late nights.

Using overhead lights for evening reading works just fine, but personally I love to have my room lights off and a specific reading lamp on. Having a side table lamp on during nighttime reading sessions gives a calm, peaceful, warmth to the space. Almost like old school reading by candlelight.

I also think a nice lamp can really create a mood for the entire room. There are so many fun lamp styles out there that can make an entire reading corner have a specific vibe to it. I chose a slightly modern feeling lamp to contrast the very fuzzy, cozy papasan cushion we have.

Whatever style of reading corner is your jam, hopefully this blog post gave you plenty of inspiration and resources to create your own at home!

Reading nooks are FUN. Got reading corner decorating ideas? Drop ’em in the comments below!

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Looking for reading nook inspiration? Look no further. Kelsey from Blondes & Bagels shares her cozy reading corner in this handy how to blog post.
Looking for reading nook inspiration? Look no further. Kelsey from Blondes & Bagels shares her cozy reading corner in this handy how to blog post.

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