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Hit the Books

March 1, 2018 | Lake Gibson Village

A guide to creating a reading nook in your home

One of the many positive benefits of having an empty nest and/or being retired is gaining time to do the things you never seemed to have time for when you were raising a family and/or working full-time. If you love reading, you may have found that you never seemed to fit into your busy schedule when your life was crammed with daily responsibilities, deadlines and obligations. This is the perfect time of life to get back into reading, which offers senior adults many benefits, including: 

1) Stress reduction. Books can “take” you to another place and time, and allow you to forget daily tensions, stresses or anything that is causing you to be unhappy — even grief. 

2) Mental stimulation. This is a no-brainer, pun intended. Brains need exercise too, just like all your other muscles in the body. Reading helps you to keep your brain sharp and fit. 

3) Increased knowledge. Nonfiction is especially helpful for learning something new. Whether you want to learn something new, such as how to refinish a piece of furniture, or get in-depth knowledge about a particular subject, like the history of the Civil War, a book is a great way to deepen your knowledge. 

4) Increased awareness. Reading help you keep up with health and scientific breakthroughs, global events, and national and local issues. It helps you understand the world and other people and cultures better. 

5) Improved memory. Similar to mental stimulation, your power of recall will be stronger when you read. 

Now that we’ve established the reasons for why reading is so beneficial, try these tips for creating a reading-nook environment that will encourage you to read on a daily basis. 

The best part is that these tips are budget-friendly! You will need:

 1) Good lighting. You can read by natural light, so choose a cozy spot by a window for your daytime reading. Find a spot for a small table so that you can place a lamp on it for nighttime reading. Make sure the bulb is bright enough for you to read, but soft enough that it’s not creating a harsh glare, taking away from the calming serenity of your reading nook.

 2) A comfortable seat. If your space and budget allows, get an overstuffed chair or loveseat for your reading nook. Keep a small blanket or afghan handy for those times when it might be a bit chilly, and extra pillows. Large pillows will come in handy when your grandchildren visit — they can sit on them or snuggle next to you, and read their own books.

 3) A place to store reading materials. The amount of space you’ll need depends on your reading habits. If you read only magazines, a table will most likely be enough. But if you like a small library, invest in a small bookshelf. It will add to the coziness of the space, and can even be a “lending library” if you share books with family members and friends. Don’t forget to leave space for your tablet or e-reader chargers, bookmarks if you’re reading hard- or softcover books, a coffee mug or teacup, and maybe even a snack or two.

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