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Creating a cosy reading nook

Monday 7 October 2019, UCAS advice

by Chloe Price

Creating a cosy reading nook

Relevant to
Chloe Price

It's a well-known fact that bookworms can read pretty much anywhere, but when it comes to a serious reading session, the best place to settle down is your cosy reading nook. 

Student accommodation is often small and, depending on how many you live with, quite crowded in parts of the house. Therefore, your own cosy reading nook is needed for when you want to quietly hide away with a cup of tea and your current read. It doesn't matter what your room will look like at your accommodation – you can create a reading space pretty much anywhere. Here’s how… 

Find suitable space
First and foremost, you need to find the right place for your nook. It could be that somewhere is already screaming out to you, possibly the end of your bed, or a chair by the window. Or you may need to be a bit more creative. An empty corner, a space underneath a sloping roof, a small alcove – they can all be used. Just make sure it's out of the way of your housemate if you're room sharing. 

If you need to, buy a curtain or string of fairy lights to create a barrier. You can put this up by pinning one end to your noticeboard if you have one, or merely blue-tacking each end to the walls (check your university allows things on walls first though)! You could even buy a tepee and create your own little hut!

Set the mood with the right lighting
Lighting plays a huge role when it comes to creating the perfect atmosphere. Dimming the lights creates a warm ambience that is so inviting and cosy, it's ideal for reading. Just make sure you can still see the words properly!

In the day, if your nook is near a window, then stick with natural light as it can be refreshing, especially if it's raining or cloudy, as this makes your room feel warm and inviting. In the evening, I'd recommend turning off your main light, invest in lamps and fairy lights, and switch them on as soon as the sky turns overcast. 

You can also buy reading lights that attach to your book, which is perfect for when you don't want a bright light shining that close to your face, or if you'd like to read in a darker room. 

Make yourself comfortable
Usually, once you've settled in your reading nook, you'll be there a while. So, you're going to need to make sure that you feel nothing but comfort. Bookworms can usually read in pretty much any position, but think about what you feel is the most relaxing for you and what you can do to enhance that.

Start with your seating. You'll need to make sure it's soft and roomy enough for your favourite reading position. If you don't have a lot of room for a new chair, either invest in a beanbag or floor cushions, or decorate your desk chair if your accommodation comes with one. Wrap it up in a soft throw and place some cushions on the seat itself. 

Have a blanket nearby too, even if there is one on the back of your desk chair (you won't want to take that off). 

Create a snack station
As many, many bookworms will tell you, a book and a hot drink is the perfect pairing. Make sure, when designing your nook, to have space for your drinks, even if it's just a serving tray on a specific spot on the floor. And, when packing for uni, take your favourite mugs with you – you'll feel more homely, it will be more delightful when you're homesick, and I honestly believe that a drink in your favourite mug tastes 100x better. 

As well as this, be sure to keep some snacks on hand. But make sure they are reading appropriate – you don't want grease on your pages, nor do you want something that needs two hands to eat, as that means putting down your book!

Personal touches
Finally, you'll probably want to add in some things that have not been mentioned on this list, such as scented candles, slippers, music, or maybe even a teddy. If it screams cosy, warm, and will help you relax for your reading session, then add it to your nook. If your walls look bare, put up some of your favourite bookish quotes (if your uni allows you to), or photos from home. Some people need music to read along with, and some might even have specific diffusers. If it feels right, place it in your nook. 

Every bookworm requires the perfect reading nook in their living space, and, even though some accommodations can feel small and busy, it's easy to create the cosy reading corner every reader dreams of.