One of the first questions I used to ask students in my reading classes was, Where do you like to read? We would discuss places that inspire us. At the beach, beside a tree, up in the attic. In my current work I assist teachers in making a library, a place for children to read in a comfortable homelike environment. Isn't that interesting? Homelike? We are trying to make a classroom that feels inviting, just as I am trying to do in my house, family-friendly, kid-friendly spaces. So I'm beginning to apply the same concepts I use in creating a literacy environment at schools in my home.
One of my favorite houses ever belongs to my husband's aunt and in it she has a large collection of picture books in a small room with a piano and little trinkets on shelves and nooks to sit and read. There is even a hammock hanging in the family room! She is my inspiration.
My goal this week is to create more spaces for curling up with a good book. Here is my list of things that would be in a great reading nook:
- a bright window
- a soft rug
- a comfy chair (a hammock would be even better)
- a blanket
- a basket for paper and pencils in case I'm inspired
- a small place for my tea
- lots of good books, on shelves or in baskets
- soft lighting, soft colors
After making this list, I realized that I needed to change around my living room. It became quite different after I tried to carry out the list. I knew I had to make the space feel more cozy, really smaller in scale. So I moved the couch around to cut the room off a little (it had been under the windows), and added my grandmother's bench as a coffee table. It's not finished yet, but here is my first draft:
This is opposite the fireplace and the accent wall. I just hope to find one of my kids lying here one day curled up with a good book! Then I'll know I created a good reading space!