Where Do You Read? (And Can You Help Me Find The Perfect Reading Chair?)

As I mentioned earlier I have been faffing over posts for today, then something really obvious dawned on me. On the latest episode of the ‘book based banter’ podcast, The Readers, that I co-host with Gavin of Gav Reads, we are talking about where we like to read. So I thought I would combine that with a small plea for some help with some bookish furniture I am trying to hunt out. First up though, where do we read?

I think I must be quiet boring/average as I really read in one of two places in the main and another if I am very lucky. Most of my reading I have to confess, rather shamefully as a lot of it is for work, I do in bed or on it. There is something comfortable and silent about my room which makes it much more preferable than the lounge which is my second place of choice for reading curled up on the sofa. However the lounge is quite a TV hub and so I tend to avoid it as I can’t read with any sound around me, which interestingly cuts me off from reading in libraries, coffee shops and on public transport on the whole. Oddly I did used to be able to read on the tube in London, maybe because nobody really talks to each other on there.

I have mentioned before that currently we are turning the mezzanine area above the bathroom into a ‘reading loft’ this will be walled with book shelves but isn’t tall enough for you to sit in properly so will be lined with a mattress (so it is an extra bedroom for guests) and loads of cushions and bean bags etc. However we are also going to do up the bedroom and this will add two new reading areas. The first is my all time favourite place to read, and the one I get to do the least, the bath! I can literally lie in a bath with a book for hours and hours just topping up the hot water as and when. Well after much coercion and debate The Beard has agreed that we can get a Victorian free standing one as part of the new look bedroom but it doesn’t stop there…

The rooms here are huge tall Georgian ones, as it is part of a converted mansion, so as well as a bath and all the normal bedroom furnishings (bed, wardrobes, chest of drawers etc) we are making one part of the room a study area which will be made up of book shelves, office gear and a wonderful old Victorian leather topped desk and chair my mother is belatedly getting me for my 30th birthday, something like this…

In that area I also want to have a really, really comfy reading chair where I can hide away with a book pretending I am lost in the Victorian era. So I wondered if you had any reading chair recommendations. Have you inherited a lovely old one or bought a special new one? All advice and thoughts welcomed. Oh and of course, where do you read?

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38 Comments

Filed under Book Thoughts, Random Savidgeness

38 responses to “Where Do You Read? (And Can You Help Me Find The Perfect Reading Chair?)

  1. Ikea Rocking Poang or Next Oslo chair are both high on my reading comfort chairs. Also big old leather wingback chairs.

    • Oh I looked at those and the rocking chair really does look like something i would like. Though I randomly found the perfect 1920s chair just the other day, I have blogged about it since.

  2. Russell Goulbourne

    On this subject, let me recommend Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s _L’Urgence et la patience_ (2012). Here’s one lovely remark from it: “Les meilleurs livres sont ceux dont on se souvient du fauteuil dans lequel on les a lus.”

  3. drharrietd

    Like you, I nearly always read in bed, and used to do this even when I was studying for a PhD, in which case I had notebooks, pens, pencils and several other books strewn around. I just can’t get comfortable anywhere else — except, like you, the bath! What a great place for reading that is. A reading chair for me would have to be one that closely resembled a bed as I seem to need to have my feet up before I can really get into a book — perhaps it could have an extending bit at the end for this purpose, and would have to be vey cosy and well-padded with lots of cushions. Of course I read on trains and planes (though not on buses and coaches, where I listen to audiobooks). Well, you did ask.

    • Hahahaha it sounds like when reading on the bed we do exactly the same thing. I have all sorts strewn around the place when i am reading, the amount of times I have been told off for this habit is ridiculous.

      I have noticed my ability to focus on reading when any noise is getting worse and worse which worries me. Someone was mowing the other day and I was getting cross. Maybe it was the book?

  4. David

    I’d like to be able to suggest the perfect reading chair for you, but you see I don’t have one either. I’m going to sound a bit odd here as my favourite place for reading isn’t a chair or bed or the bath. No, I do nearly all of my reading…. pacing. Back and forth, back and forth, any room will do so long as it is quiet. Occasionally I’ll stop and lean against a door jamb or put my book down on top of the chest of drawers and stand reading it (sometimes on one foot, with the other ankle held in my hand) before doing some more pacing. Maybe three hours out of each day is spent this way.

    • Pacing, I can honestly say David, is not something I have ever heard someone doing whilst reading, how intriguing. Why does this work so well for you? Least you are doing exercise at the same time ha.

  5. This is probably incredibly up-tight and nerdy of me, but I read at my desk: with note books/dictionaries/pens etc strewn around for making my scribbly marginalia.

    Have you ever read ‘If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller’ by Italo Calvino? The opening chapter is this amazing (and hilarious) discussion about the impossibility of finding the perfect position/place in which to read. Check it out, it’s awesome.
    Tomcat.

    • I can understand having notebooks and pens everywhere for whilst reading, I do the same only on a bed and in a notebook, never in a book itself.

      If On A Winters Night… oh how much I hated that book. I know what you mean about that chapter but that book annoyed me so much.

  6. gaskella

    I have never, ever read a book in the bath! I lust after a Terence Conran Matador chair which is a modern oversized take on a wing-backed armchair that’s big enough to pull your legs up too – but at around £900 it’s too expensive at the moment. I read mostly in bed, and secondly on the sofa. I find it difficult to read outside – too many distractions, but I can read with the telly or radio on no problem. Hope you find your ideal chair.

  7. I can read almost anywhere – favourite spots are in bed; in the bath, or curled up on the sofa with my feet tucked under me. But I also read at the table while eating; at station platforms, bus stops and, occasionally, walking along the street (although this is not to be recommended as you have to keep an eye open for hazards like lamp-posts, which makes it difficult to concentrate on the book in hand). I would love to be able to read while travelling, but I am always ill, except on trains, where I’m fine, and can happily sit and enjoy a book.

  8. I read anywhere I can, but I moved a couple of months ago, and in buying new furniture for the new place, I got a chaise lounge. I wasn’t looking for one, but it was comfortable and a good price, so that’s what I ended up buying. I love it for reading. It’s comfy and large enough that I can sprawl on it in different positions as the mood suits, and there’s enough room for my very large cat to join me without him having to lie on top of me.

    • Oh I would love, love, love a chaise longue. I saw one in a shop the other day but it was £300 which in the condition it was in it was nowhere near worth, so I got a lovely chair. I would like one though so will keep my eyes peeled. They are ideal.

  9. Go a wingback or a hesterfield if you’re gentlemanly enough … (!) There’s an amazing place in North Wales that sells antique furniture/objets d’art and the guy has a penchant for vintage chairs..

    I love love reading on the bus. Though this means I do end up pulling embarrassing faces/making funny noises/missing my stop when I’m totally immersed in something. Touché on the cafés and libraries though – isn’t that weird! I’m just far too people watchy and distractable in those places whilst on the bus in Manchester I want to bury myself as far into a book as possible so that the weirdos don’t start talking to me…..

    • Manly enough? What are you implying Lucy hahaha.

      What is the place in North Wales, I don’t live a million miles from there now.

      I am a people watcher, I think that is why the whole cafes and libraries just doesnt work for me!

  10. Susan in TX

    I used to read in the bed, but along came the time when our bedroom got big enough for a sitting area. Now, I keep to my wingback recliner. Upholstered, not leather — leather gets too hot after prolonged sitting, but then we don’t have very much cold weather, so that might not be an issue where you are.

  11. I love the desk Simon! I can read pretty much anywhere, although it’s very difficult for me to read in bed because I fall right to sleep!

  12. jenn aka the picky girl

    I’ve wanted this recliner: http://www.wayfair.com/Signature-Design-by-Ashley-Caro-High-Leg-Bonded-Leather-Recliner-1990026-L804-K~GNT2047.html?refid=GX7166651820-GNT2047&gclid=CIe7lIjP6LECFWLktgodykUAvw for ages. They have it at the local furniture store, and it’s AMAZINGLY comfortable and reclines but doesn’t look like a recliner.

    I usually read in bed, on my sofa in my bedroom, and occasionally in the club chair in my dining/reading room.

  13. My fave place to read is in the bath closely followed by bed, the sofa and then sitting on a particular step leading up to my bedroom. Can pretty much read anywhere though.

    There was a book that I ad ages ago and it was full of photos of people snapped reading books in all sorts of places. I’ll dig it out and email you its’ name.

  14. Louise Trolle

    I read in this – which I can easily move to the porch/into another room or in a ray of sunshine :-)
    http://www.designdelicatessen.dk/produkter/94-saekkestole/1421-ambient-lounge-evolution-grey/

  15. Rhian

    I read just about anywhere (I am never without a book!). Most of my reading is done in bed (having developed a habit of going to bed early with a glass of wine and my book), on DB’s sofa or on the train on my way to and from work.
    Reading in the bath is good too – preferrably with a glass of wine to hand, but the book has to be carefully selected. I don’t know why, but I tend not to read “serious” books in the bath.
    I can’t read and walk (too likely to fall over/walk into something – or someone) but I do read standing in queues, or on the station, or waiting for friends.

  16. My favourite place to read is in a good bay window, but my current flat doesn’t have one so I am usually found curled up on the sofa. When I was a teenager my Mum would frequently find me sat up on the kitchen worktops reading as well, I think I’m attracted to anywhere with good light. Never been much of a reader in bed though!

    As for your chair search, do you Pinterest?
    http://pinterest.com/search/boards/?q=chair
    Lots to feast your eyes on!

  17. Sarah Williams

    Reading is a feet up kind of activity for me. A comfy chair with an ottoman or big enough to curl your feet up is important. Style is left up to personal taste. Love the leather topped desk! Enjoy.

    • Having now finally, and a little randomly, got the perfect chair I so know what you mean about having your legs up a bit, having them on the ground seems a little odd. I wonder why this is?

  18. A quiet corner in Cafe Nero or Costas. Coffee and books go together so well

  19. Pingback: My New Reading Chair… | Savidge Reads

  20. Your book mezzanine sounds amazing! I love my library/dining room but the one thing we still haven’t bought for it is a comfy reading chair. I am completely torn as to what would be best. A big (not leather) wingback chair would look the part but would it be comfy?

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