The Lit-Nerd’s Ultimate Guide to the Perfect Book Nook

As someone who identifies as a “Lit-Nerd,” it is an honor to lend my expertise on the subject of creating and perfecting your book nook in your apartment. After a good deal of contemplation, I decided it might be best to break the concept of “book nook” into about five key ingredients. I developed this list by carefully examining my own book nook and by referring to my most trusted source for apartment decor ideas, Pinterest. Here’s what I came up with:


I think the very first step when creating a truly functional and enchanting book nook is choosing appropriate lighting. Whether you position your book nook near a window, use a stand-up lamp, employ a candle, or string up some twinkly lights, you will need to be able to see what you are reading. Lighting can also create character in your space. Candles give a soft romantic feel and twinkly lights are always dreamy. For best results, avoid harsh lighting and err on the side of ethereal.

Reading Chair

Credit: Reading Chair by Jennifer Donley on flickr creative commons

Comfortable Seating

Comfortable seating comes in many forms. For some comfortable seating may mean a big pillow on the floor, or it could refer to a beloved armchair or love seat – your choice also depends on how much space you are devoting to this nook. My book nook occupies a small corner of my one bedroom apartment, thus my comfortable seating is a small rug and what World Market lovingly deems to be a “pouf.” Whatever you choose should be something you will actually want to sit on, something that will tie together your space (I recommend textures and patterns, this is an opportunity to buy accent furniture) and will allow you to engage with your reading. Some other examples include: ottomans, benches (these can double as storage), or stools.

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An Item of Interest

I include an item of interest here because I think that a reading nook is a pocket of your space that can stand on its own. It is likely cordoned off to the side of the room, or tucked in a corner. It’s a space that should be buzzing with creativity, color; it should feel safe, cozy, and whimsical. It’s where you will depart on many journeys through space and time, where you might chill out from a long day, and it may also serve as a home for your book collection. My point is: it should be alive and representative of your imagination. An item of interest could be your wacky armchair or tiffany lamp, or it could be an additional item that adds more zest. Some examples include: thought provoking wall art, a plant of some kind, a sit around piece from your travels, or a vibrant and soft blanket for extra cozy. Whatever it is, this item should inspire you.

Cozy Reading Room

Credit: StartupStockPhotos on Pixabay



Finally, the most obvious ingredient here are the books. Your nook might encapsulate your whole collection or it might provide just a taste. Whatever your approach, your book nook should have at least one or two books lying around! Use a small table to house your books between bookends, or build the space around your corner bookcase. Just make sure your most beloved editions find a home in your new reading alcove.

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My final tip? If you feel your space is lacking one of these ingredients but you are tight on funds and space, check out your local thrift shop. They are always great for affordable and interesting items to complete your styling goals.

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Elaina Hundley

Elaina Hundley is an education professional with a passion for cozy, affordable home decor. She loves coffee, watching "Fixer Upper," and tries to read and write as much as she can in her free time.

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  • Great article! I have “book nook” on my to-do list because right now I just have random bookcases in various rooms.