The art of the reading nook

The Spectator | March 2022


To add a library to a house is to give that house soul – at least, so said Cicero. Unfortunately we’re not all as blessed in the book department as Ernest Hemingway, whose Cuban library boasted a ten-foot long desk ‘curved like a boomerang’. Modern living is often short on space. But that does not mean you can’t create a cosy corner to hide away from the world with a book.

Reading nooks are all the rage – everyone from Sophie Dahl to Nigella Lawson is carving out space for one. Even Jamie Oliver, who has spoken about his childhood battle with dyslexia, has sequestered a fireside armchair, snapped by his wife Jools for Instagram napping with a cookery book across his lap.

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