Get a read on where to settle in with a book

By: Sarah Wojcik | C&G Newspapers | Published November 27, 2018

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METRO DETROIT — Now that the weather has turned frosty, it’s prime time to snuggle up indoors with some quality reading material.

Local experts weighed in on the best ways to prepare a space to get lost in a good book.

Corie Conroy, president of Bloomfield Township-based First Impression Home Staging, said the first thing to decide is where to settle in.

“I think the best place for reading is away from the chaos in your home — away from the doorbell and phones, where you can get a little space for some quiet time,” Conroy said. “I like to have a place where you can have kind of a peaceful, cozy spot.”

She stressed the importance of a cozy chair or chaise lounge with soft materials — something where you can sit back, be very comfortable and get into the zone, whether it’s for homework or reading.

“The other thing I think is really important is to get good lighting,” Conroy said. “Natural lighting is ideal; something cheery that sets the mood. When you can be by the window, you can have access to the outdoors.”

If a window is unavailable in your reading space, Conroy recommended putting up wallpaper that fits an individual’s spirit, or painting a room an attractive color that brings an individual happiness.

“If you can’t have natural lighting, you should look toward artificial lighting in a nice lamp that gives you plenty of light to get your task done,” she said.

To get extra comfy, Conroy suggested placing extra pillows and blankets in a reading area. If one has the space, she recommended including a table to set down a drink or books.

“If you have a bigger space, a bookshelf where you can easily store away your items (is great),” she said. “Anytime you have clutter or don’t have space readily available puts stress in your mind and defeats the purpose of the reading room to enjoy your reading.”

Along with quiet reading time, Conroy said reading aloud to children is an integral part of your offspring’s upbringing.

“I think kids like to sit next to parents when they read because they need extra assistance to practice reading,” she said. “Setting up a sofa or chaise lounge or something that would fit both of you would be great.”

She said that kids often like to lie back and listen. Her own kids, she said, enjoy reading in the comfort of their own beds instead of a place like the kitchen table.

“Family pictures or photographs or paintings of things you’re interested in bring back nice memories, and those all contribute to an enjoyable experience,” Conroy said. “If you’re reading at a desk or working at a desk command center, have it facing the door of a room so you’re not caught off guard if somebody comes into your room.”

Jenni Gannod, director of the Blair Memorial Library in Clawson, reiterated the importance of a comfortable reading chair and good lighting.

“There are plenty of options for reading depending on your mood for that day or the weather — you might want to read something tropical if it’s cold out,” she said. “It’s good to maybe have a warm beverage or maybe start with a full tummy, and it’s always good to have snacks to just create a comfortable environment for yourself.”

Gannod suggested the children’s books “Hello Winter!” by Shelley Rotner, and “Peppa Pig and the Silly Sniffles,” by Candlewick Press, as well as “Sister Pie: The Recipes and Stories of a Big-Hearted Bakery in Detroit,” by Lisa Ludwinski, and “Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave,” by Joanna Gaines, for more mature readers.

She added that local libraries are a great resource for reading materials.