Everyone has a favorite place to read a book—perhaps it’s the window seat in your kitchen, beneath the tree in your backyard or even in bed. With a few page flips, one can travel from a reading nook up to the Tower of Babylon or down rabbit holes into Wonderland.
Take a moment to think about your favorite space to read. If you don’t have one, find inspiration from these reading aficionados’ top spots to nestle in with a good book.
Grace Atwood, reading influencer and founder of lifestyle blog The Stripe, loves to read at a special spot not far from her home. “My favorite place to read a book is definitely in Domino Park, which is just a short walk from my apartment in Brooklyn,” she says. “It’s really beautiful. There’s nothing more relaxing than lying in the sunshine by the water with a good book.”
If you look at Emilie Hendryx’s Instagram page, you’ll discover she’s rarely without a book in hand. Emilie is an avid reader and a full-time freelancer with a book of her own in the works. When she feels like reading, she steps outside.
“My ultimate favorite reading spot is my hammock outside in the backyard,” says Emilie, who resides in Northern California. “When it’s nice outside, there’s a beautiful breeze, and my two dogs are in the backyard with me and come up and sit. I like to lay there, and then I can actually have a great view looking up into the trees. It’s very peaceful back there, very calm.”
Emilie also enjoys reading in bed and on the couch. “One of my favorite things is just being propped up with a pillow. Or on the rare mornings that I can sleep in a little bit … I will read in the morning there, too, because it’s just cozy,” Emilie says. “I have found that even if I am really tired and don’t have much time before bedtime, I still try and read a few pages. It really calms me down, so that’s definitely something I try to put into habit.”
Professionally trained singer Rod Kelly Hines’ favorite space and place to read is one that’s in motion: the New York subway. “There’s something about hearing the sounds going on around me when I’m in the train car. The conversations, the noise of the actual subway moving through the tunnel, the sound of the announcer over the intercom. Just the general noise, it sort of functions as white noise in the background as I’m reading,” he says.
Rod lives in Brooklyn and works at a day school affiliated with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, frequently performs around the city and works with his community church; however, when he’s en route to each of those activities, you’re most likely to find him reading a book on the train.
“I just love the experience of being in the morning rush, on the train, to work and from work. Experiencing that energy during my commute really helps me focus [on what I’m reading].”
Literary lifestyle bloggers and reading influencers Rikki (above) and Michaela (below) run The Ardent Biblio, an online literary community. “Both of our homes are set up in a way that makes sure you see a big bookshelf,” Rikki says. “That’s a big part of Ardent Biblio—we wanted to encourage reading, wanted people to see us reading without making it a separate thing. That’s part of what we call the ‘literary lifestyle.’”
Both women have what Rikki calls an “ultimate cozy spot.” For Rikki, it’s a rocking chair in front of a bookshelf adorned with plants and next to a window.
“I really like the outdoors. So getting to be by a window where I can look out at my garden is the best when I stop and think about what I’m reading,” she says. “I like to be inspired by being next to my books. And it’s just nice to be comfortable in a space that shows life, whether it’s through literally my plants—looking at my garden—or the lives in the book I’m reading. I really like to bring all of those things together in a perfect harmony of a reading space.”
For Michaela, she’s built her own library of sorts. After moving into a new house, she questioned whether its formal sitting room served a purpose. After all, she says, “who has a formal sitting room they use? So I set up to make it my own space, just like my husband has a home office, like my son has a playroom.”
Michaela’s reading space is full of plants, has huge windows and features a wall of bookshelves sitting across from a piano. “I have a chair just kind of nestled into all of that. It’s my space in the house. It’s not even about the chair itself,” she says, adding that it’s not a fancy chair, but it has an ottoman and allows her to lean back comfortably. “It’s nice to just settle in next to all my things and be in my space. My library—my study.”