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I got my start as a book reviewer. My family stoked a love of reading early, and it’s a defining characteristic of who I am. In college, people knew me as “the girl with the book blog.”
In general, I read about 100-200 books per year. To me, few pleasures are greater than turning off my screens, brewing a pot of coffee, and cracking open a paperback.
Over the years, I’ve collected several items that enhance my joy of reading, helping to create (and embellish!) my routine and collection. Read on for my favorites.
Building The Ultimate At-Home Reading Routine
It’s the end of a long day, you’re gearing up to start a new book, and you’re hoping to make it a new habit. What do you do?
You need ideal seating.
To start, you need a quality place to sit or lay. TQE Editor Hallie won me over with her glowing review of the Albany Park armchair ($795) that adds the finishing touch to her living room; it looks like the perfect spot to get lost in the latest fantasy.
Ensure optimal lighting and visibility.
An excellent armchair does you no good if it’s too dim. For lighting, I love the Olivia Floor Lamp ($169) from Brightech. Its exaggerated shape lends itself perfectly to reading because the curve ensures that the lamp itself is situated right over your lap, clearly illuminating the page.
If you struggle with vision, I highly recommend the “world’s most comfortable readers” from LOOK OPTIC. Try the Cosmo Readers for $68. Avoid the headache (literally.)
Throw on a blanket.
Weighted blankets are popular among the regular population and practically a necessity for book lovers. My pick? The aesthetic weighted blanket from Bearaby that looks good and feels better. The Cotton Napper ($249) has a big, chunky organic cotton knit that naturally adds to the calm feeling of a reading session.
Light a candle for atmosphere.
The TQE team and I adore our candles. We even wrote a whole roundup of all our favorites. I recently placed a reorder of my beloved Oud Rosewood candle ($16) from Italic. I gave up and ordered three at once because I knew I’d tear through them.
Pour a drink.
If you’re a tea person, commit to the zen, disconnected aesthetic with whole flower tea from The Qi. It’s gorgeous, aromatic, and will only add to the ambiance. Try the sampler with its Floral Tasting Collection ($36 for 27 servings).
Sip your tea in the Ember Mug, a swanky smart mug ($129.99). It stays at the perfect temperature when you look up after that cliffhanger and realize you haven’t sipped your tea in an hour.
If you’re craving something stronger, celeb Reese Witherspoon’s beloved Reese’s Book Club collaborated with Simi Winery in Sonoma County, California for a limited edition Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon package. Available in sets of two ($45) and six ($120), the Editor’s Collection is the perfect pairing for a night in with a good story.
Read On The Go
As author Lemony Snicket once wrote, “Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” I nearly always have a read on hand for long lines and wasted time, and love being able to dive into a story for entertainment rather than reverting to my phone.
A great bag should fit multiple books.
If a bag is not at least book-sized, I probably won’t use it. Nowadays, many DTC brands (like Oncept and Marcella) use tote bags to pack their products, so I’ve built a solid assortment. If you want an exclusively bookish tote, opt for a bag from the elegantly literary Book/Shop collection. Go for the classic natural look with a large canvas tote ($30).
Block out the haters.
You know that joke about people coming up to you when you’re trying to read? I do enjoy a good evening at the bar with a book and a cocktail, and these stylish reusable earplugs ($34.95) from Loop are stellar for blocking and filtering noise.
Show your lit love off to the world.
My main gripe with bookish gift guides is that they all just seem to be products with book graphics splashed on them. I love reading (and talking about reading, clearly) but sometimes it’s…a lot. If you’re proud of your latest habit – or a beloved classic – try a literary face mask ($14.99) or hoodie ($69.00) from Litographs, to showcase your love pride in a cool way.
Build And Store Your Collection
In my childhood bedroom and first adult apartment, I had the luxury of built-in shelving. Now, I struggle to find places for the many (MANY) titles I drag around. Thankfully, several DTC brands with attractive shelving options have hit the market in recent years.
Go modular so your collection grows with you.
Floyd is one of our favorite furniture brands for many reasons; its modular design allows you to adjust your pieces to your space without having to completely replace your furniture each time your lifestyle shifts. In Floyd’s shelving line, start with the Tall Shelf ($740) which can be used as a standalone or a base to add on expansion units in configurations that best suit your needs.
Try a locker instead of a shelf.
I recently channeled my middle school memories and moved my books into a colorful, functional locker courtesy of Mustard Made. The Twinny ($549), the wardrobe size, comes with four shelves and several rods. It’s perfect if you don’t like the traditional look of a bookshelf. Fling the doors open to have them on display or tuck them away behind a neat, colorful veneer to retrieve when necessary.
Add bookends for personality and organization.
Add elegance to your shelves with sleek marble bookends ($45) from Sterling Harper or get colorful with MoMA’s Fenestra Bookends ($55). I’m also a big fan of the Tortuga collection which allows you to mix and match steel bookends ($30+) across sizes and colors.
And, Of Course, You Need A Good Book.
Everyone’s a reader if they find the right book. Knowing your taste in entertainment is crucial to picking a read that will actually hook and engage you.
To get started, Book of the Month is a highly popular, non-intimidating book subscription box with seven curated picks to choose from monthly. (If you don’t like the sound of any of them, you can roll over your credit or pick from the library of old selections.) It’s a great way to start a book club with pals – or family – and figure out what you like. Get your first book for just $9.99.