There’s this common misconception that reading is a safe, risk-free activity, an activity that doesn’t result in pulled muscles or sore necks.

*looks at you and smiles knowingly*


But we both know that’s not true, right?

Study the image below and look me in the eyes and tell me that you haven’t fallen victim to one of these awkward positions. Go on. Try it. I dare you. See? You can’t. Also, searching Google Images for ‘reading positions’ returns questionable results…


We bookworms are incredibly lucky for the most part. Having a book in our hands is equivalent to the ability to wield magic. All we’ve gotta do is open onto the first page and bam! We’re in a different realm meeting a whole host of exciting new people…and it’s all from the comfort of our Modified Beyonces.

Oh shit, did I say comfort? Silly me. I meant from the excruciating pulled ligaments of our Modified Beyonces. Slip of the ol’ keyboard.

I see you there, lounging back in your baths, hoping that the hot water and Radox will wash away the soreness biting into your overworked muscles (okay, I don’t literally see you, that would be beyond creepy) and let me tell you, my friend, that I understand. My bookish brothers and sisters, I understand. 

And I am here to help. I have kindly compiled a list to help you create the comfiest of reading nooks. A reading nook should be your sanctuary from the world. It should be a place where you can read, undisturbed, with home comforts, such as tea and hot chocolate, close to hand. It should be place where you can snuggle down for a few hours, legs outstretched, bum cushioned and back sufficiently supported. It should be, to put it simply, an ergonomist’s wet dream.

Choose a location

Location plays a key part in creating the perfect reading nook. If you live alone, your lounge would be the logical choice, but in a time of economic austerity, fewer people live in single occupancy apartments or houses. If, like me, you share your house, either with friends or family, your choice of locations is limited. Perhaps you can section off a corner of your bedroom; you could buy a nice little bookcase that would act as a partition between your sleeping area and your reading nook. You could even buy a cheap armchair off eBay and kit it out with plumped up cushions and warm blankets. If you have a loaded credit card, you could even renovate that cobweb-filled shed at the bottom of the garden. Perhaps I watch too many home renovation shows, but it seems to be becoming the norm nowadays. Sheds – or, more accurately, annexes – seem to be ideal for people wanting to put space between their home lives and their interests, such as writing, art or music.

Furnish it appropriately 

The word ‘nook’ has connotations of a place that is secluded and secure, comfy and cozy, and that’s exactly what your nook needs to be. Invest in a decent chair. Wingback chairs are quite popular because you can curl your legs beneath you and rest your head against one of the wings. It might sound simple, but it’s not a position easily achieved in a regular armchair. The wingback is a classic and will embrace you while you read.

An actual painting of me in my younger years

Have snacks and drinks at hand

Position your nook near the kitchen. Plug in a travel kettle and a mini refrigerator. I don’t care how you do it, just ensure you have sufficient nourishment at hand to fuel you through those late night reading sessions. I recommend tea and hot chocolate, personally. They’re pretty mellow, calming drinks, while coffee is pumped full of caffeine and is simply not conducive to a relaxed couple of hours spent sitting down. In terms of food, you don’t want anything too heavy or greasy. A three course, sumptuous dinner will have you nodding off while a packet of potato chips will coat your fingers in grease and ruin your book. My chosen reading nook snacks consist of biscuits and, perhaps rather weirdly, yogurt.

Good lighting 

Ikea is the place to go for a good reading lamp. Overhead ceiling lights just don’t cut it. They’re glaring and never shine directly on your book anyway (unless you’re lying on your belly beneath it, which is what we’re trying to prevent here). A chairside lamp is ideal, especially if it has a dimmer switch. The light shines directly on the pages, making them easy to read, plus you can alter the brightness to suit your mood or the time of day. When I was living in Japan, I had the lamp shown below and its soft, warm glow generated some awesome vibes. Plus it was ridiculously cheap too!



And there we have it, folks, a comprehensive list of everything you need to create the perfect reading nook. Do you have anything else to add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!