People who really enjoy reading tend to do a lot of it, and while of course it’s possible to read just about anywhere, for long, marathon reading sessions it’s nice to have somewhere comfortable to do it. But everyone reads differently – some curled up, some stretched out, some inside, some outdoors – and everyone’s homes and available space are different. So today I wanted to make a quick list of reading chairs designed to suit every kind of reader (and look good doing it).
The Classic (Arm Chair + Ottoman)
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It’s tough to beat a classic, and when it comes to reading chairs, an armchair and ottoman combo is an oldie but goodie. These have a cozy, slightly old fashioned feel that pairs beautifully with a good book and a mug of tea or coffee, and they’re generally small enough to fit in the corner of a living room or bedroom. Very traditional wingback chairs afford a little privacy, while even a small ottoman will let you put your feet up. Combined with a small accent table for your book, glasses, and that cup of tea, this combo creates an almost instant reading nook.
The Sleeper Chair
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That said, depending on how often you curl up with a good book, and (let’s be honest) how much free space for extra furniture you have in your home, it might not always be practical to have a dedicated reading chair and a big bulky ottoman to go with it. But sleeper chairs (that is, arm chairs designed in the style of modern sleeper sofas) offer a nice compromise. In chair form, they’re compact, stylish modern armchairs that wouldn’t look out of place in any contemporary living room. But unfold them and they turn into full length chaise lounges or even twin beds, meaning you can enjoy that extra space when you really need it while keeping your living room relatively uncluttered when you put the book away.
If you like to be huddled up and cozy, secluded from the world and with just a little extra privacy while you’re reading, not just any old reading chair will do. High backed or wingback chairs provide a little shelter, but there’s no chair that will keep you more ensconced and secluded than a retro ball chair, which wraps you up in a curved dome and has a seat big enough that you can tuck yourself away inside it almost entirely. Admittedly, this is a look that can be sort of hard to pull off in anything but a modern home, but if you can handle a little space-age style, these chairs are fantastically cozy.
The Hanging Chair
If you really want to kick back, relax, and maybe swing a little while you’re reading, hanging chairs are the next best things to hammocks. They come in all designs and styles, from aerodynamic assemblies of canvas and dowels to something a little more delicate, like this woven wicker chair, and can either be mounted to a ceiling or beam or attached to a stand that holds them up off the ground. Usually hanging chairs are designed to work both indoors and out (making them a nice option for a patio or balcony as well), and allow you to sway, dangle, and rock gently with your feet off the ground.
The Get Up And Go
Sometimes, the best reading chairs aren’t the ones that are super comfortable, or even ones in that nice, quiet, secluded corner, but the ones you can pick up and take with you on a whim so you can read wherever you want. Folding chairs or cheap lawn chairs will work for this, technically, but they’re neither particularly comfortable nor particularly attractive, which makes them less than ideal. This Draper lounge chair, on the other hand, has a striking modern look that makes it a perfectly respectable permanent addition to just about any room, but a can also fold into a compact bundle for easy transportation if you want to relocate your reading space.
Often, reading nooks are relatively compact, secluded spaces – tucked in a corner of the room, a window seat, or other small nook or cranny. But while this is certainly a cozy set up, it isn’t a particularly lavish one, and if the space is small enough, it might not be particularly comfortable, either. Me? I like to stretch out when I read, and there’s no more stylish way to do that than with a chaise lounge. These take up a bit more space than a traditional armchair, sure, but they’re smaller than a sofa and really not much larger than a chair with an ottoman, so they’re perfect for a spare room if you want to spread out to read while avoiding the heavy, noisy traffic of your family room or living room.
Where do you like to read, and how do you get comfy doing it? Do you have an absolute favorite spot or piece of funiture you like to read in? Let me know in the comments!