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Genevive Chamblee: How to Create a Reading Nook
Friday, March 26th, 2021

Hello and bonjour, all, once again. It’s officially spring, and that is always a plus, but especially this year when Canada apparently lost its weather and sent it this way. Us southerners just about lost all our grits, and let me say, honey, y’all can keep that white fluffy and slippery stuff up north. We do just fine without it here, thank you very much. **closed the front door**

Blogging weekly can make coming up with new topic ideas a bit challenging sometimes. I decided to do an internet search for potential topics and nothing few off the screen at me. So, of course, I did the next logical thing and got on the phone and started ringing up my posse of partners in crime who are known to lead me down forbidden paths. They suggested that I write about something that I am passionate about. Well, I love reading. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that if you’re here reading this, you’re also a reader and lover of books. Therefore, I’m banking today’s topic is one that is relatable to all readers and that is how to create a reading nook.

Now, most readers probably already have reading nooks in their homes. However, maybe you’re considering revamping yours or perhaps you’ve moved and have not had a chance to create one. Or maybe you’ve never had a reading nook and have just plopped down to read wherever was convenient or available. On the other hand, maybe you’re simply curious how others design their nooks. If any of these reasons apply or interest you, keep reading while to get into it.

Dedicate a space. First things first. The first step in creating a reading nook is deciding where it will be located. It can be a corner, a spare room not in use, a converted closet, or even outside under a favorite tree. The location does not much matter as long as it makes the reader happy and is conducive for reading. Areas that are very noisy, have poor ventilation, or have diminished lighting may not be ideal reading spots. And since I brought it up…

Lighting. There are many options available when considering a light source. Lightening can include overheads, lamps, candles (scented or unscented…which scented one may add a bit of ambiance and/or set the mood), string lights (a.k.a., fairy lights), or natural light from a window or skylight. My bestie has his reading nook on his back deck and frequently uses his firepit as light. And then there’s my other friend who uses a bookmark with a pin light because he enjoys reading in the dark. I remind myself here that there are no right and wrong ways to a reading nook and that it is all personal taste. I’ll leave it at that…no judgment. Moving along.

Seating. No reading nook can exist without a place to sit. Well, I suppose some people may want to stand and read for hours, but my guess most people would prefer to curl up with their book. Now, most people know that I’m a pantser when I write. However, when I blog, I research before I begin writing. That’s because when I’m writing novels, I don’t expect to be done in a week and I have time to make notes to research as I go or later when I find that something that I’ve written isn’t jelling the way it should. Blogging, on the other hand, does not afford me that same luxury. I have a set schedule which means I don’t have much time to toy with ideas. The kiss of death to any blogger is beginning a post and getting lost halfway in or realizing there’s not enough material for a post. The latter is the reason I decided to create a list of items that would go into a reading nook before I began writing, and the first item I thought was chair. But as I thought about it more, I realized that not everyone has a chair in their reading nook. Some people enjoy stretching out their legs and would appreciate a bench, loveseat, or settee. A good friend has a hammock in hers. (She calls it a long swinging chair, but it’s a danggone hammock that she has inside.) Whatever one chooses, make sure that it is one that you find extraordinary comfortable.

Ottoman. Many people get comfortable by propping their feet up. An ottoman is a great solution for several reasons. Not only will it serve as a footstool, but it can also add an extra zing to the décor depending on the style selected. It can be a splash of color, shabby chic, electric, retro, new wave, Victoria, or whatever flair floats the reader’s boat. It will personalize the space. Additionally, some have the added bonus of being storage units. The great thing about ottomans is they are relatively inexpensive and are sold in multiple venues. Great deals can be found at outlets, flea markets, and garage sales.

Book storage. On the topic of storage, let’s discuss it. If one is reading physical books, he/she will need a place to store them, hence, shelving units and/or bookcases. This practical area may also be an accent in the nook. Several collection addition books have stylish covers with shiny foiling that will brighten any room or space. Shelves can be adorned with other items such as bookshelf dioramas, figurines (e.g., Funko Pops, Magnolia Lane collections, pieces from literary subscription boxes, travel souvenirs, photographs, vases/jars, etc.). The arrangement of books can also play a role creating a cozy environment. For example, some readers arrange books on the shelves by color to create a rainbow or ombre. In this method, books of the same color or similar shade are grouped together on the same shelf to create a look that is visually pleasing. However, be warned that arranging books in this method may make finding particular books complicated if the reader has a large collection. Another display idea would be to have a mixture of books placed vertically and horizontally to create variety and interest. Storage doesn’t have to be boring. On the contrary, in a reading nook, book displays should be fun, cozy/welcoming, and highlight the reader’s personality. It should be a place that the reader wants to spend the day there reading.

Let me add that there are so many shelving options such as built-ins, swinging shelves, baskets, cubicles, bookcases. For a more custom shelving look, consider mix-and-matching several styles of shelving that have a similar aesthetic. Sites like Pinterest and Instagram have loads of photos that can generate inspiration. Online sites such as Wayfair and IKEA have many affordable options to choose from. I’m a strong advocate of supporting small and local businesses. Etsy and businesses in your community also may stock shelving that may interest you.

Table. If you were wondering when I would get to listing a table here it is. It is not far down on the list due to being unimportant. A table, in my opinion, is an indispensable element in a reading space. First, it’s a great place to have a lamp, but also, it’s where a reader can set his/her snack, beverage, phone, clock, or basically anything that will fit on the top of it that the reader does not want to hold, deposit on the floor, or lay on the seat.

Blankets. Throw (see what I did there?) in a dash of cozy with a swanky or flocculent blanket to snuggle in while reading. Who doesn’t enjoy something incredibly soft and gentle caressing his/her skin? (Uh… I take it back. Don’t answer that question and pretend I didn’t just ask.) Blankets will add color and character to a nook without taking up much room. Versatile in color and size, blankets can be draped across furniture, rolled into a pillow moment, or folded neatly and tucked out of the way. And if you have a pet, they may want to curl up in it, too. Throws and blankets range in price from very inexpensive at the dollar stores to expensive chunky woven ones found in high-end boutiques. One can be found in everyone’s price range.

Plush pillows. Over the years, I have learned that decorative pillows are very polarizing. Either people love them or hate them. There does not seem to much of a “meh” category for them. One thing is for certain and that is that pillows can change to look and feel of a room. Something about them seems to “complete” an area. On interior decorating shows, one of the last items brought into the room as a “finisher” are pillows. They are placed on couches/sofas, chairs, windowsills, and even the floors. Basically, at least in my opinion, if there’s an open space, a pillow can go there. Like blankets and throws, decorative pillows come in a variety of shapes, sizes, fabrics, colors, and prices. A person may want pillows in their nook solely for décor or for a more functional use and prop their head or feet on. Or perhaps they put it behind their back for support or sit on if the chair or surface in their book nook is hard and/or uncomfortable.

Plants (if you’re earthy). If you’re someone like me who does not have a green thumb, are low maintenance, or have a reading nook located in a space with limited natural light (unless you have succulents) you may want to consider an artificial option. However, plants are a great way to bring color into an area and create a feeling of freshness and homeyness.

Electrical outlets. Recently, a significant ice storm event struck the area. In preparation, one of the things I charged was my e-reader. I get teased sometimes because I’m told that e-readers are passé and antiquated. But let me tell you, it came in handy when the power went out for four days. My e-reader holds hundreds of books, maintains a charge like crazy, allows me to read in the dark, and frees me from having to use power (and space) on my other electronic devices. So, to my e-reader haters, I politely stick out my tongue. On a more practical level note, having an outlet is convenient. It allows readers who prefer to read digital books on devices other than e-readers (e.g., telephone, tablet, laptop, etc.) to keep charged as well.

Storage space. You may want to have things in your reading nook that you don’t want to leave out in the open. A friend who recently began wearing reading glasses stated that she constantly is losing pairs because she leaves them wherever she takes them off. As a result, she has several pairs. She keeps on pair in a desk in her reading corner. She reported that she never takes them from that spot to ensure they are always there whenever she is in the mood to read. However, she does not leave them on the table or on the desk because she does not want anyone to move them or for them to get knocked off accidentally and broken. She also states that it keeps the area looking tidy not to have a lot of clutter on the desk.

Everything else. Reading nooks are personal spaces. Anything the reader wants to put in them is a go.

Time. Understand that creating a reading nook may not all pull together and happen overnight. It may take time to decide how you want your space to look or to find items to put into it. In today’s economy, you may not have the extra cash to purchase the items that you want. A friend decided that he wanted a very classic, retro type of reading nook. He is very particular about what he put in his space, as he likes unique items with history. He finds items to include in his nook from antique shops and estate sells. As a result, his nook has developed slowly over time.

As people grow and interest change, they may want to change the look and feel of their reading space. There is nothing wrong with this. This is especially true with young readers. As they mature, they prefer that their space grows with them.

So, that’s all that I have. I hope the information presented here was helpful. What are your thoughts? Was this post helpful? What advice do you have on the subject? Did I omit something that should have been listed? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. If you’re not following me on Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.

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Locker Room Love is a steamy standalone multi-protagonist, gay romance/ MM romance series revolving around professional hockey players. Set primarily in the Cajun and Creole bayous of south Louisiana, these love stories have a diverse cast of characters. These sexy athletes are discovering their own voice and the best romance of their lives, even if that isn’t their intention. Find tales of friends to lovers, enemies to loves, billionaires, bad boys, forbidden romance, first times, gay for you, and more. These alpha males are guaranteed to work up a sweat and melt the ice.

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, New posts are made on Wednesdays (with bonus posts sometimes on Mondays), and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou. I discuss all things Creole, Cajun, recipes, trivia, psychology, mental health, self-help, beauty, writing tips and, of course, romance. There’s a little something for everyone.

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Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Keep safe.