What's in your reading nook?
August 20, 2009 7:50 PM   Subscribe

What chair, side-table, lamp, and ottoman combo would you have to create the best reading nook? I have about $1,000 to spend on the best reading lamp, side-table, and chair/couch for my house. I'm a law school student (rising 3L) and I need some to setup a comfortable space to read at night. I can't seem to find a good combination that will make reading at night easy without making me too sleepy.
posted by roundrock to Work & Money (7 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Check out Levenger. They call themselves "Tools for Serious Readers," and they are the Cadillac of this sort of thing.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:05 PM on August 20, 2009

I've been thinking about this a lot recently.

The kind of chair you need really depends on the kind of reader you are. I like a chair that I can use in different positions - like sitting with my legs over one arm, or laying on the floor with my feet on seat. So if you eschew all proper posture conventions, you'll need a wide chair with rounded, possibly stuffed arms.

Get a lamp with crisp white bulb to keep things bright and keep you awake. A sturdy side table big enough to rest a book, a mug, and some highlighters would also be great. If you are going to be taking a lot of notes, Levenger sells a reading table where you can rest a book. My aunt has a similar one and loves it! Note: Levenger can be quite expensive, but it is a great place to get ideas and maybe one important piece.

I like a large rectangular ottoman, that way you can turn it long ways and have a makeshift chaise (depending on your height.)

Good luck!
posted by gagoumot at 8:44 PM on August 20, 2009

My favorite reading place is a hammock with a clip-on light above the 'head' end. One of these Januaries, I'll swap in a heat bulb, too.

(If you already sit at a desk all day like me, any different position is better for relaxing.)

Just throwing that out there to encourage different-thinking.
posted by rokusan at 9:10 PM on August 20, 2009

I love my OttLite for reading.
posted by Netzapper at 9:30 PM on August 20, 2009

Levenger is good. However, you are in law school and a reading nook on an ottoman is probably not what you want. Trust me. You are at the point of desk work. You want a proper desk chair, perhaps a foot rest, you do want a book rest and perhaps you will even want a standing desk option. Do not try to do your work on the couch as it is likely to lead to all kinds of back, neck and other issues. They are legion in law school. Proper posture comes first and foremost so that all the real work can be done. Back to Levenger - they have many good accessories for this, such as the book stand (the number one most important thing ever to get in law school) and bright lights, etc.
posted by caddis at 9:58 PM on August 20, 2009

A proper desk chair: a Herman Miller Aeron ( a good desk chair is necessary, this is perhaps the best available)

A book rest - this is the most important purchase any law student can make

A proper floor lamp - OK no law student without a trust fund buys this one, but get a good halogen lamp from an office supply store. The halogen ones have really bright light and when you are going to read for hours that reduces fatigue. Don't worry about energy efficiency on this one, worry about human efficiency.
posted by caddis at 10:10 PM on August 20, 2009

As for the light you could go for a cold white color, which will help to keep you awake and uncomfortable. Most light bulbs where I live have an indication in Kelvin -- the higher the number, the colder the light. Having such light with day light color spectrum gives your body the impression of day, not night.
posted by oxit at 2:13 PM on August 21, 2009

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