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The joy of a corner in which to read...

I have two reading corners in my house, comfy sofas with cushions by large windows. I like a lot of light and to see out and think as needed; to see the wider picture.

Reading corner number one looks out to the street. Our street is not busy, but there’s a family of Plovers (Masked Lapwings) that hang around on the grass and when the weeds poke their heads out, colourful parrots congregate as well.

Number one sofa is bright red and covered with a multi-coloured rug. The cushions are also bright – two red and two blue. The back of the sofa is wide enough to rest an open book. I move around quite a bit while I’m sitting still so this is important. A low coffee table adorned with a selection of books and magazines is the perfect height to put my feet up and stretch out.

Around the red sofa are my bookshelves. The bookshelf closest to me is home to my collections: Jane Austen, John Steinbeck, and others, plus careful piles of old books, some poetry, and a few biographies. Across the room is my large bookshelf, home to research, and more collections (Tolkien). I’ve spread fiction throughout both bookshelves and neatly stacked in my guest bedrooms. I need to buy another bookshelf, then I can unpack the last few boxes from my move last year. Also in this front room is my writing desk with its own stack of books, notes, stationery, and an array of pens.

Reading corner number two overlooks our long driveway and the garden that lines one side. I sit with my back to the garden, but I can easily turn when I hear the birds chattering in the shrubs and low trees, or if I need to take in the flowers and ferns. We have a lot of windows in our house, so even though my back is to the garden, there’s another window where I can observe the goings on in our backyard if I so wish.

This lounge also has a wide back for resting books, but not the sturdy side for me to lean against. The cushions here are grey and gold and stacked up for leaning. Not great for my posture, but then I wriggle around a lot. The sofa is light green. There’s a matching coffee table here covered in the debris of my husband’s research into various home maintenance topics. Reading corner number two doubles as his office. My husband and I sit with our legs stretched along the sofa, cushioned backs to the garden. He in the mornings and me in the afternoon. It gets hot here though. The afternoon sun beams against the house well into the evening.

There are fewer books near the green sofa, more living and casual chat. This corner is involved in family life, part of the hub. Reading here is for the pleasure of it, the escape. Corner #1 is for pleasure also but shaped more by research and writing and learning. I enjoy having designated reading areas. I haven’t always had the space for such luxury. It’s something that has come with time and the departure of children into the wider world of living. I miss the kids, but I do so like my quiet corners.


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