While Pinterest worthy book nooks look amazing and can provide great inspiration, according to Karen Gawen from Sunshine Coast Libraries book nooks don’t need to be elaborate to work well.
“Book nooks are awesome and they don’t have to be a huge deal to set up. Make one out of sheets, build a teepee or just set up a favourite chair with a footrest and a good lamp,” says Karen.
“The idea behind a book nook is to find that comfortable spot to read or share books, so it could be anything. Even outside under a tree with a hammock. Or a cubby house in the backyard.”
Drawing inspiration from the library itself can help develop keen readers, with Karen suggesting that you find a way to build your own family library – which can also form a part of your book nook.
“It’s a good idea to build a library in every house. Whether it’s one tiny shelf or a whole room. Every child needs access to books and owning their own plays a big part in helping them become a reader.
“In today’s world which is so busy with so many distractions, kids need to be able to relax and have some downtime. Reading helps their imagination, curiosity and gives them a break from the world and technology. This is especially important the older they get to allow them to escape from all the pressure of school and social media.”
To keep your book nook interesting, rotating the books is a great idea. Kids will always have their favourites, but you can mix it up by including some library books with their own collection. This can open them up to new books that then may also become lifelong favourites.
“Libraries have something for everyone at every age. We have the largest range of books on the Coast and buy titles from all over the world, often before they become best sellers and are available in local bookshops,” says Karen.
“Reading is such a personal thing ... even for little toddlers. Allowing them to have access to a massive range of books helps them discover who they are, shapes their personality and their take on the world. That’s where a library is so important to allow them to really explore and discover all the world has to offer.
Another advantage to borrowing from the library is that your child can broaden their reading horizons across a range of reading materials including comics, nonfiction books or magazines.
“Often people have a certain perception of what makes a reader, which is someone who reads books. We always try to push the fact reading anything makes you a reader ... whether it’s a magazine, graphic novel or newspaper, ebook or book.
“This is especially true as kids get older and reading becomes a chore and part of school work. That’s when parents really need to make it fun. If they love animals or surfing get them nonfiction. If they are intimidated by the size of a book read with them.... even if they are 10.
“Reading together shouldn’t stop just because they can read themselves! A book nook should be for the whole family, providing a relaxing space for everyone to enjoy books – either together or separately. Kids learn from those closes to them, so if they see you enjoying reading chances are they will enjoy it too!”