Some kids seem to come into the world with a natural inclination towards books. As soon as they started reading, you haven't been able to pry a book from their hands, even at dinner time or when it's time to go to bed. Watching your child devour information and form a curiosity about the world is an amazing thing, and you should encourage it in any way you can. One of the best ways to support their love of literature is creating a room for them that is centered around it. Here are some elements that you should consider when putting together a space for your avid reader.
Let's start with the most obvious element: the bookshelf. This can sometimes be challenging for a smaller room, since bookshelves tend to be a large piece to incorporate. However, after working with a lot of New Yorkers over the years, who often have extensive book collections and limited space, we've come up with some options that save space.
We've found that the most efficient way to add a bookshelf without taking up too much extra space is to incorporate the shelf into another piece of furniture that is already a part of the room. For example, in Isabelle's room, we added book storage into her loft bed:
In James' room, we added a floating bookshelf to his desk, with many different compartments that allows for him to categorize his books and items, and reorganize as time goes on:
In a shared room, bookshelves are a great way to get extra function out of a partition, so that they serve a double purpose:
The idea here is to build a bookshelf onto other pieces instead of treating it as a stand alone piece, which will take up more of what might already be a limited amount of floor space.
However, if you have space to spare, and you feel like the room is missing something, a stand alone bookshelf can be a great addition.
Once you have a place for their books to sit, you can move on to finding a spot for your reader to cozy up with their latest find. Creating a reading nook is always a fun project, whether it's a small corner with extra cushions, or an entire bench near a window.
For Molly, we created a cushioned bench with storage features below, and a shelf above so that she can sit by the window and read, with anything she's currently reading close by.
Even if you keep it simple, creating a place for your child to continue their reading obsession is a great way to show them that you support their interests. This example that designer Kate Sparks (@littledwellings) put together works too.
As you can see, they use the same main elements that our more elaborate one does:
- Comfy seating
- Book storage
- Good lighting
Kids that love reading have information to share, as i'm sure you know. When they learn new facts, or attach themselves to a new fictional world, they love expressing their opinions about it. One way to encourage their expression is by including a board in their room where they can post their newest discoveries.
For Willa, we included a huge magnetic board where she pins pictures, pages and lots of other items to. Now that she's older, this serves as both a reminder board and a place for her to express herself:
We know that it's bedtime, but it's hard to say no to "Five more minutes?" when they're spending that time being captivated by a book, isn't it? A bed is a huge part of any avid reader's life, so make sure that theirs feels like a place they can go to settle in on a rainy day and transport themselves into another world with a book or two.