Reading Right

It’s Friday afternoon and everyone has left the office. It’s quiet, promising the start of a relaxing summer weekend.

For me, the most enjoyable day is spent at home sitting and reading for hours. Although I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like, when I do, it is wonderful. My husband will say, “How can you read so much?” Easy. Give me a comfy seat, a place to put my feet up, good light, those darn reading glasses and I’m done.

One way I can easily discern a really well-designed home, from one that is not, is by the number of comfortable places there are to read. (The room at left is the library in the home of one of my clients. There is an entire, floor-to-ceiling, wall of books across from the sofa.) No matter how large or beautifully furnished a house or an apartment may be, I am never impressed with a place that has less than three separate areas that invite one to sit down with a book: size does not ensure comfort. Ironically, many small homes have it right. It’s simple: The more reading spots there are, the better the design of the space.

So, if you have fewer than three places to settle in with your favorite author, it’s time to reevaluate the seating in your home. You may need to add an ottoman, or a pair of lamps with brighter light or a little pull-up table for your teacup. Perhaps what you really require is a cozy club chair or two.  Take a look around and count how many spots you have – less is not more in this case. If you have too few, now is the time to take action. Summer is here and it’s Friday.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Gail Selby Aagaard, IRN July 14, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Lovely blog, Lauri. I just spent an enjoyable 30 minutes reading every post since your first one celebrating all of your anniversaries!

Congratulations, and may you have many more blog ideas, IRN successes, and years with Joe!



Lauri July 16, 2008 at 6:42 pm

Many thanks, Gail. And it’s great to hear that you enjoyed reading the entries.


Marta Anders July 24, 2008 at 5:52 pm


Yes! Yes! Yes! One of my biggest peeves with HGTV’s Dream Homes is that I have yet to see a single bookcase in any of them. Here’s a question, though – I love to have my living/family room furniture floating (hey, I’ve read the books!) but it’s rare to find outlets in the floor to make it easy to have reading lamps. Right now I have extension cords where there is least likely to be anybody walking, but I sure do wish there were a more elegant solution, especially for a rental.



Robin July 24, 2008 at 7:24 pm

Yes, there can never be “too many places to read” but what do I do about all my broken lamps and shades from “too many boys” in my house?!


nebula July 24, 2008 at 7:46 pm

I couldn’t agree more, Lauri! A house without books is a house without a soul! Regarding your next post, I signed the pledge and added the International Rescue Committee’s badge to my blog:


Lori July 25, 2008 at 6:30 am

I love that shot of the sitting room. The artwork configuration above the sofa is great. It’s a very comfortable looking, welcoming room. I just bought a new little bookcase with glass doors. I had to have something in my living room to store books even if there isn’t much room.


Lois J. de Vries July 25, 2008 at 7:45 am

Marta might like to know that floor plugs are available that, in addition to electricity, enable you to run a phone line/computer line. Ours is brass. A cover closes when not in use. It will stick up above the floor, but is a lifesaver for having lamps in the middle of a room. This is not a residential product, so if your electrician isn’t aware of it, keep looking. Try an electrical supply store.


Laura Long July 25, 2008 at 9:57 am

I whole-heartly agree…a room without books is a room with out character. I checked my home, 4 spots in 1600 sq ft!


Lauri July 27, 2008 at 11:17 am

You must have a very comfortable, cozy home!


Lauri July 27, 2008 at 11:25 am

Hi Lois!
Thanks for mentioning the floor outlet option. It is a good reminder for anyone who is installing any type of “hard” flooring.
When I bought my house I put in a couple of the brass floor outlets, too, even though I don’t need them. Now the next owners will have more choices when they arrange their furnishings.
By the way, I love your garden blog!


Lauri July 27, 2008 at 11:35 am


How about sticking with metal lamps and shades for the next few years? 😉


Lauri July 27, 2008 at 11:39 am

Thanks very much for signing the IRC pledge and posting it on your blog.


Marta Anders July 28, 2008 at 8:33 am

I got an idea for those darn extension cords. You can buy extension cord covers in black, white, & gray and you can get contact paper in various wood grains so it can be made to match the floor. i wouldn’t want to use this in a high traffic area, but for me, they will run along the edge of an area rug and over to the wall on either side of the fireplace where no one ever walks. It’s not as elegant as a brass-plate in-floor outlet, but it’s better than the exposed cords I have now.


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