During the winter, you probably have a dedicated reading space full of cozy blankets, a place for your warm cup of tea, and a window to look out at your snow-covered lawn. But in the summer, you might find that that same spot is hot, cramped, and blinding from the sun. Instead of resorting to the couch or another hot space in the house, why not take that reading nook outside?

There’s something special about diving into a good book in the great outdoors, especially when you have a space that’s comfortable, laid back, and full of plenty of shade to protect you from the sun. Read on to learn more about how you can create your very own reading nook paradise in your own backyard.

Establish a Shady, Relaxed Area

Nothing is worse than setting up your lawn chair, pouring yourself a glass of iced tea and sitting down with a good book just to realize that the sun is beaming down right in your face. Instead of dealing with the frustration of creating a makeshift shady area, consider installing a backyard pergola to add a permanently shaded area to relax and read in!

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash


Not only will a pergola provide you with a relaxing place to read, but it offers a space for your kids to hang out when it gets a little too hot, or a place to set up a fire pit and roast some marshmallows at the end of a long day!

Add a Variety of Seating Options

When you’re totally engrossed in your latest read, it’s important to get comfy. Some days you might be comfy in a hammock or an Adirondack chair, and other times you might be more interested in a patio chair or an outdoor couch.

Add a variety of different seating options so that you’re always comfortable in your backyard! And when guests come to visit, you’ll have all sorts of places for everyone to kick back and relax.

Lots of Pillows & Blankets

And while we’re on the subject of getting comfy, what reading nook is complete without some pillows and blankets?

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If you’re an early morning or late night reader, you know just how amazing it feels to tuck the blanket up under your toes and settle into reading a good book. Coffee or tea are optional, but definitely encouraged to keep the cozy vibes going!

Plant Bright, Beautiful Flowers & Foliage

Whether you’re reading, writing, or painting, nothing is quite as inspiring as looking out at your garden to see bright, beautiful flowers and foliage. Turn your backyard into an inspiring reading nook by adding lots of different native plants, flowering annuals, and maybe even a bird feeder to encourage feathered friends to stop by for a visit!

Illuminate Your Space for Late Night Reading

If you’re more of a “kick off your shoes after a long day of work and snuggle up with a good book” type, then you’ll definitely want to invest in some outdoor lights for your backyard reading nook! Not only will some outdoor solar string lights add some much-needed visibility for all that late night reading, but it will add a charming ambiance to your backyard space.

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And if you have a pathway that you always find yourself turning on your phone light to navigate through, consider adding some solar path lights to help you safely get indoors when you finish reading for the night.

Install a Pathway to Your Hidden Reading Nook

Not only will a stone pathway add a functional element to your backyard space, but it will add a welcoming entrance for your guests. Tear out that worn down grass or sharp gravel and replace it with a more barefoot-friendly option like pea gravel or large stepping stones.

Add a Window Seat for the Inevitably Rainy Summer Days

Of course, not ever summer day will give you the perfect weather to cuddle up in your reading nook. So for those rainy days, consider turning that unused window space into a cozy seat! Your window seat doesn’t have to be just for relaxing at, though!

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash


Add some storage to the bottom to store away all those shoes that are cluttering up your entryway.

Take It To The Next Level With a Reading Shed

If a quiet backyard reading nook isn’t enough of an escape, consider building your very own reading shed! There are a variety of shed plans available online ranging from simple to incredibly detailed. Build your own bookshelves, add a bunch of comfy blankets and pillows, and next thing you know you’ll be totally engrossed in your latest read.

What’s your favorite place to kick back and read? What are your must-haves in your personal reading nook? Let us know in the comments below!


Bio: Leigha Staffenhagen is the managing editor of Insteading.com, a homesteading and sustainability site focused on everything from gardening and raising chickens to tiny homes and off-grid living.

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