9 Reading Nook Ideas to Create the Coziest Space for Bookworms

30 December 2019

reading nook ideas

Australians read for an average of almost 7 hours per week, with almost 70% of that reading for pleasure. Whether you come in above or below average, a reading nook is a fun way to pursue your reading for fun. Reading nooks give you a quiet, dedicated space to dig into your favourite books. It's also a good way to encourage your child's love of reading. Kids who read for fun tend to perform better in many subjects, including vocab, spelling, and math, compared to kids who don't read for fun. A reading nook is an ideal option when you want to create an educational design for your child's space. Reading nooks can also double as study lounges for older kids. Whether you're looking for reading nook ideas for kids or adults, choosing a creative option can make the nook even more inspirational. A little creativity can make it a space you want to spend more time in to catch up on your reading list. Check out these nine creative reading nook ideas.

1. Canopy Reading Nook

Create a whimsical place for your child to read by hanging a fabric canopy. The canopy helps create a defined space for the reading nook without requiring any building or structural changes. Choose a canopy with light, flowing fabric to create a cozy place to read. Lighter fabric lets natural light and overhead light filter into the reading nook so your child can read well. Bright light reduces eye strain and can prevent headaches or other discomforts while reading. You can also incorporate cool-burning string lights or fairy lights into the canopy for additional light for reading. Install the canopy using a heavy-duty hook to ensure it stays in place even if your little one pulls on it. Make sure the hook goes into a ceiling joist for extra stability. Position the canopy in the corner of a child's bedroom or playroom to keep it out of the way and create a cozy reading corner. Fill the canopy with floor pillows, bean bags, and other soft items to make it a cozy spot to read. Your child can look up into the canopy while reading about far-away lands. If you don't want to attach a canopy to your ceiling, you can create the same effect with a freestanding tent. Try a teepee-shaped kids' play tent or other freestanding tents. This option is easy to put away if you want to free up space in the room. It also makes your reading nook mobile if your kids like to read in different spots. You can set up the tent in a bedroom, playroom, living room, porch, or even outdoors.

2. Repurposed Closet

If you have an extra closet in your home, claim it as a reading nook. It's a defined area that's already sectioned off, so you don't have to do any building or structural changes. The smaller enclosed space makes the reading nook feel cozy and intimate. Removing the door is one minor change you may want to make. This lets more light into the space since most closets don't have windows in them. Leave the doorway open, or hang a curtain over it in case you want to close off the nook. You may want to rearrange the shelving inside the closet to make it more functional for books. Instead of a high shelf across the width of the closet, you might build in shelves on one end of the closet. The shorter shelves at a lower level are an ideal spot for different books where kids can easily reach them. Building in a bench and covering it with pillows is one option for seating. Or you can leave the bottom of the closet open and fill it with bean bags and other soft items. Consider the existing lighting in the closet to make sure it's adequate. Install a brighter light fixture, or hang string lights in the closet to brighten the space.

3. Reading Loft

There's something fun and magical about climbing up to a high perch for reading or playing. Building a loft into your home or using an existing loft for reading is a fun option. If there's already a loft available, load it up with soft furnishings so you can get cozy with a book. Make sure the loft has safe railings, especially if you're making the reading nook for kids. If you don't already have a loft in your home, look for existing structures you can convert. Some entryways or bedrooms with high ceilings have wide ledges above closets or under windows. Add a railing along the ledge and build a ladder leading up to it for a simple reading loft. In your child's bedroom, build a loft with a ladder leading up to it. You can use a loft bed as the reading loft for an easy option.

4. Attic Nook

The slanted ceilings in your attic make it difficult to use the space for bedrooms or other living spaces. You can use the space for storage, but it can be perfect as a reading nook. Since you tend to sit or lounge while you read, you'll have plenty of space in the attic, even with slanted ceilings. Since the attic is often far away from common areas in the home, it's usually a quiet spot. That makes it ideal for reading to cut down on distractions. Position the attic nook near an attic window if possible. If natural light isn't an option, add extra lighting fixtures or plug-in lamps or string lights. Your attic may new need flooring to support the reading nook. Finishing the ceiling can also make the space feel homier and welcoming for reading.

5. Hallway Dead End

Even a small space at the end of a hallway can become a small reading nook. If there's a window at the end of the hallway, it's an even better spot. A hallway reading nook gives you a dedicated reading space without taking up room in a bedroom or shared areas. If you have the space, consider building in a little bench with bookshelves below it at the end of the hall. If you don't want to build anything, simply put some bean bags and floor pillows against the wall to create a reading corner.

6. Reading Alcove

Some homes have little nooks and alcoves that aren't very functional. They're too small for much furniture, but leaving them empty makes them wasted space. An alcove of any size can work as a reading nook. It might be a little nook in front of a window or in the corner of a room near a closet or bump-out from an adjoining room. If you're using an alcove by a window, consider building in a window seat. You can add storage inside the seat to hold books, extra pillows, and blankets. Hang some shelves in the alcove and outfit it with seating that fits the space. Add lighting if needed.

7. Reading Swing

A swing installed inside the home makes a whimsical reading option. Your child can sway back and forth while reading for a relaxing option. Curved cocoon-style swings add a cozy feeling to the reading area, especially when filled with pillows and blankets. Installing the swing requires a sturdy ceiling joist for safe installation. The joist is necessary to support the load of the swing and a person sitting in it. Without proper anchoring, the swing may fall, causing injury to people and damage to your home. Add a small freestanding bookshelf near the swing so you always have a good book nearby.

8. Under Stairs Nook

Who wouldn't love retreating to the space under the stairs for reading? If you have stairs in your home, consider opening up the space underneath by removing a wall to carve out the nook. If your home already has a storage closet under the stairs, you can claim that space as your reading nook. The slanted, awkward shape makes the spaces under the stairs less functional. Instead of trying to cram items in it for storage, let your kids use their imaginations in the space while reading. If you have a more modern home with open stairs, the space below your stairs may already be open. Add some seating and shelving beneath the stairs to complete the under-stair reading nook.

9. Sun Porch Library

A sun porch bulks up on natural lighting during the day, making it an ideal spot for a reading nook. Because it's enclosed, you have a comfortable environment no matter what the weather outside. But you still get a view of the outdoors, which can be relaxing while you read. Designate a small part of the sun porch as your reading nook. Choose bean bags or other seating with fade-resistant fabric so the sunlight doesn't fade your reading nook seating. Position your bookshelf so it's out of the sunlight to prevent the books from becoming faded. Hanging curtains or blinds on the sun porch windows can help you make the space more comfortable on hot, sunny days.

Things to Include in Your Reading Nook

Once you choose your reading nook area, you need to furnish it to make it cozy. You can customise what you put in the space, but the basics include comfortable seating and book storage.


Seating lets you settle in with your book and get comfortable. Bean bags let you sink in comfortably and move the seat around easily. A lounger lets you spread out a little more. Consider the size of the people using the reading nook when choosing seating. If you're making a kids' reading nook, you can choose kid-sized bean bag chairs and smaller seats. If it's for all ages, choose bigger seats that can comfortably accommodate adults.

Other Soft Touches

Add to the comfort with other soft furnishings in the reading nook. Throw pillows and blankets are ideal. For a kids' reading nook, add stuffed animals for cuddling. If you plan to cozy up on the floor, use a soft, shaggy area rug to cover the space.

Book Storage

You don't have to include a bookshelf in your reading nook, but it's a nice touch to keep a small reading selection nearby. If the space is large enough, add a freestanding bookcase to hold your favourite books. For small spaces, mount simple rail shelving to hold a few books within reach of your seat. A basket sitting on the floor near your chair is another way to keep just a few books close.


When possible, position your reading nook near a natural light source, such as a window or skylight. Supplemental lighting lets you see your pages clearly at night or in areas where natural lighting isn't possible. Adding new lighting fixtures can be expensive, but you can add plug-in lights inexpensively without hiring an electrician Strands of lights add a whimsical look to your space. They also work well for spread out the light throughout the space. Table lamps or clip-on lamps let you direct light toward your reading area. You can also keep a few clip-on book lights in the nook for direct lighting.

Themed Decorations

Decorating the reading nook is an option, but it can make it more inviting and fun. Choose a theme for the reading area. Add wall decorations to create the theme. Colourful decorations also make the reading nook more cheerful and welcoming. If you prefer a natural look, add a few plants to your reading nook. The space is also an ideal spot for a gallery wall, especially a book-themed one. Frame covers from your favourite books for a fitting wall art option.

Choose Reading Nook Ideas

Which reading nook ideas best fit your home and style? Looking at your available space helps you narrow down the options and create a custom reading area for kids and adults. Filling it with lots of soft, cozy furnishings makes the reading nook even more inviting. Check out our selection of bean bag lounges and other bean bag seating options to outfit your reading nook.

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