Saturday, April 19, 2008

Reading room: Quite & Comfortable

The world is filled with readers. Young readers may be driven to habitual reading in the face of an impending examination, or for the sheer pleasure of leafing through a fresh-picked novel on the move. On the other hand, older booklovers may believe that their reading offers a secluded getaway from the feverish activity that fills their lives. As the case may be, avid readers need a reclusive retreat in their homes to indulge in this delightful passion, and small changes can provide the much-needed makeover to stoke one's love for reading.


Reading requests an ambient, distraction-free environment. Keep this in mind and try and de-clutter your reading space. If reading is a family interest, it may help to assign a spare room to the growing number of books that may pour in from each member of the family, else a quiet corner should suffice. Your design may slightly vary if you want to incorporate a home office into this corner, and like always, begin by asking the basic why's and how's of a design plan.

Light and ventilation

Conducive reading spaces entail optimal light and aeration. Place your reading table strategically beside a large window for a study with a view, or create a reading sill on a bay window with comfortable cushions and a few bolsters for lounging pleasure. If you are forced into using artificial lighting, ensure that you have a table lamp or a floor standing one placed beside your corner. This may also ensure that the rest of the family is not disturbed if you read after nightfall in your bedroom or other shared family areas.


The bottomline for all reader-friendly furniture is comfort. Keep ergonomics in mind when you pick up a chair and table for yourself, and don't cringe to spend the little extra that would ensure you are comfortable during prolonged reading spells. Older members may prefer a rocking chair to a fixed back couch for added comfort. A center coffee table and side stands would complete a casual settee. Consider incorporating a small, rotating storage area under your center table to allow easy access to frequently read books.


While most traditionalists believe in an imposing bookrack to showcase your reading, you can choose to smarten up this arrangement by introducing multiple functional storage units. The most accessed books should be easily reachable, and the lesser-read tomes can be shelved away. A family of booklovers may choose to arrange their collections differently and multiple small units help preserve their identity. At no cost should this clutter your reading space though.


Since this space is your much-deserved getaway from the noise and activity around you, feel free to incorporate some soft music through an ipod or CD player. Music can set you into the mood and help make your transitions from hustle to calm. If most of your reading is on the Internet, organize your computer or laptop with the necessary software and storage spaces to support the many hours you may spend on the net. For the final dash of indulgence, keep a cup of delicious coffee and a few crisps at arm's length to soak into your much-deserved breaks.

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