Good news, book lovers. If you have ever felt that you have an innate ability to connect with others, your hunch was right. Research published in the journal Science found that reading literary fiction makes you more empathetic. Clearly, the emotional rollercoaster evoked by romance novels is worth the ride!
What better way to reap the benefits of books than by creating more reading spaces? You probably have your favorite spot indoors, perhaps in front of a picturesque view on your bay window seat or curled up on the couch. But why limit this pastime to your house? With a bit of creativity - and literature lovers have plenty of that! - you can turn your backyard into the perfect reading space:
Add lights for night reading
If you've ever been sucked into a good book, you know the challenge of reading late into the night. You either need to find an empty room or rely on a flashlight. Otherwise, you're out of luck. As the New York Times explained, reading in the dark can put serious strain on your eyes and cause headaches, interfering with the relaxing benefits this pastime has to offer.
Even though you're exposed to natural sunlight in your backyard, there's still the chance for shadows from a custom patio awning or gazebo roof. You might also just enjoy the serenity of reading under the stars. Either way, you'll need the appropriate outdoor lighting design to avoid straining your eyes. Wherever you set up your cozy space, surround it with lights bright enough so you can easily scan the pages of a book.
Create a place of enchantment
Whether you're a strong knight of the Middle Ages fighting his way to save a damsel in distress or a wizard learning spells, there's something truly magical about immersing yourself in a fictional story. Embrace that experience by creating a place that exudes enchantment in your backyard.
You might transform your gazebo into a regal castle by equipping it with twinkling lights and purple pillows and surrounding it with stone pavers. You can also turn your garden into an enchanted forest by letting plants grow tall, acting as walls for a secluded hiding space. Equip the garden with a bench, drape a rug over the ground and set up a small side table - the options are endless.
Shut the door
If you're not quite ready to entirely expose yourself to the elements while you dive into a book, consider setting up a reading space in your shed. Of course, the space that holds your outdoor tools won't do. You need an area that's like a miniature version of your living room, equipped with furniture, lights and a sense of style. Not sure where to start? Use this guide to glamorize your shed.
Post up on the porch
You don't have to take extreme measures to create a reading nook in the backyard. If you already have a gorgeous patio, get more use out of it by equipping the space with comfy furniture, blankets and pillows. Reading in a rigid chair is next to impossible, so choose a seat large enough for you to shift positions - especially if your spend hours at a time with your nose in a book.
Block out background noise
Even the most engrossing of books can't captivate your mind if it's competing against honking car horns or yelling kids. If you're reading in your backyard, you can't exactly shut the window to block these noises. While you can listen to music through your headphones, you might go for a more natural approach since you're already outside. Try creating white noise with a water feature. Sitting near the steady splashing makes for a serene environment that also masks background noise.
Otherwise, you can also design your outdoor living space in a way that minimizes noise pollution. In a previous article, we emphasized the importance of surrounding the yard with solid fences and setting up natural sound-blocking barriers with trees.
Your home is more than your house - it includes all warm breezes and rays of sunshine that fall on your yard. Make the most of your outdoor living space by setting up a place to read while enjoying nature.