Mar 2 2016 5:30pm

4 Ways to Decorate Your Reading Nook

4 Ways to Decorate Your Reading Nook

Romance novels are just so very much in so very many ways. You know what I mean, right? They are wonderfully robust and bold. They are so fun to read. They are spirit-lifting experiences because they are about love and, ultimately, happiness. They declare themselves so unabashedly with covers showing heroines in billows of satiny gowns, amply muscular heroes, dreamy landscapes, stylized city scenes, and, of course, much more. They effectively provide a place for both readers and writers to exercise our imaginations. They are passionate. 

It’s no wonder that a romance reader would feel inclined to allow a little bit—or a lot—of all that passion to pour out into our special reading nooks. Whether it is a truly a nook (the kind only made larger by a cranny) or a full-scale (the heart races at the thought!) library with fireplace,  bay windows, and built-in shelving, don’t we all feel the need to express the romance reading love within us?

(photo via Emily Henderson)

There are many ways for the love story lovesick to decorate our reading spaces. If, like me, you have more a reading nook than a dedicated reading room, you may opt for romance-related accents; if you are have the space, you may go big. Here are some decor ideas for that most wonderful of combinations, the bookish and the romantic.

Express your love through heart-shaped shelving.

4 Ideas for Decorate Your Reading Nook: Heart Shelf

It’s amazing what you can find on the internet. Dream it, find the keywords, and type. At least, that is what I did to find this cute item on etsy. I saw sellers in Australia, the United Kingdom, and India, too, that had really adorable variations on heart-shaped shelving. None of these are for books per se, but this could be a sweet little place to show off a few knickknacks and your favorite mass market romances. Remember to check the proportions to be sure the shelving would be useful for your purposes.

Deck the shelves with trinkets and baubles

Many of us tend to acquire small bookish mementoes that speak to us of our love for a series, a sub-genre, a character, or some other aspect of our reading lives. We like to have them surrounding us, reflecting on the outside our inner reading glee. For the craftsy among us, this can be collages of promotional postcards and bookmarks from favorite writers. For the practical, love-themed bookends can pretty up a shelf while being useful. Or how about these Rodin bookends? If you’re feeling whimsical, you might populate your shelf space with literary action figures or your wedding cake topper. There are also jewelry items like this Persuasion-themed bracelet that are as attractive to display in your reading nook as to wear.

Enjoy some visual art with the literary...

4 Ideas for Decorate Your Reading Nook: Gone With The Wind Movie Poster

Movie posters can be a nice tie-in with your library, particularly when a favorite book has been dramatized. And if you have very particular tastes, you can find loads of images of vintage book covers, classical art, romantic travel destinations, and so much else on Pinterest. You can choose the right one for your space and reading personality and print it on big, glossy paper. (Though your wall may turn out looking like a scrapbook exploded if your give yourself free rein.)

Let your books decorate for themselves.

Books are such works of art themselves that you may simply want to display them. You can get a display easel (check the size) and place your newest or most gorgeous book on top of your bookcase. You might go a bit more elaborate, or you might choose a simpler style so your book can get all the attention.

Clearly, the way you decorate your romantic reading nook can be as personalized as your reading tastes. So, what’s your style?



Aniko Eva Nagy reads, teaches and writes in Boston, Massachusetts, which she is happy to call her hometown, perhaps one of the best cities for a book lover. Head over to her blog,, for thoughts on the joy of books, and a bunch of general bookishness.


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Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
Living in NYC, I don't have as much space as I'd like, so right now I have a single bookshelf (the majority of my physical books are in storage at my mom's house) and chair in a corner of my room. Cozy, but I'm holding out for a library/media room with built-in shelving one day. These decorating tips are giving me all sorts of ideas...
Jennifer Proffitt
2. JenniferProffitt
I'm with @HeatherWaters, living in NYC, NO space for a legit nook. (However, isn't any place your reading, a "reading nook" you just have to pretend ;) or at least that's what I tell myself...) I do sit in my window sometimes. And by sit... I mean I wedge myself in between there and my bed and try not to fall off while I read...

But I digress...

I have a lot of book art--I decorated my hallway like this, and I would gladly do it again, should I ever get a place that's more permanent:

And I have various crafty "word things" like a tin ampersand, etc.
3. CaroleToronto
Just created a cozy nook in Master Bedroom to cuddle with afghan and read on cold Canadian winter nights.

Heather Waters
4. HeatherWaters
@CaroleToronto -- That sounds perfect! (Not sure why your image didn't come through, but would love to see it if you get the chance to share again. For troubleshooting, email us at
5. Habit Lover
I've had great reading nooks before. I used to have this awesome wicker chair, and I would put a foot stool in front of it to stretch my feet out, and a side table that was just the right height to reach for my coffee cup without looking over at it. And I had a throw blanket that I would lay across my lap to warm up. I had that setup in a carriage house I used to live in, and the sunlight would dapple through the windows and it was great. I could sit there reading literally all day. Then when I had to move, I put that same furniture in a storage room where I was surrounded by boxes on all sides when I would sneak in there to read and amazingly enough it was still great. Like a hideaway. Now I don't have that furniture anymore. Someday I'll get an opportunity to set that nook up again.
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