My Dream Reading Space

I share a lot of my interests with the Internet: journaling, freelancing, films, and of course, reading. However, one thing I never really share with you guys is just how much I love interior design and decorating. I love how you can transform a space just with furniture and a few decor items. In fact, if I ever was to go back to school, I would seriously consider getting a degree in interior design.

So when Arhaus.com reached out to me to see if I would write a post about my dream reading space, I was super excited by the opportunity to combine my love of interiors with my love for reading. So I've scoured Arhaus and some of my favorite home furnishings brands and have pulled together a few things I personally would love to have in my dream reading space.

I've always liked the idea of a window bench, but they're not always the most comfortable place to sit and read for hours. So in my dream reading space, I would prefer an armchair like (1) this one from Cost Plus World Market. I love this grey, slightly textured fabric, and as someone with short legs, the matching ottoman is an absolute essential!

The reason I prefer an armchair is that you get the comfort of a couch but with the placement options of a chair. As someone who likes to switch their furniture around every so often, I think it's important to get pieces that can be used in a variety of locations. I also love to get furniture in neutral colors so I can add pops of color and pattern with accessories like this (2) pillow. I'm really into oranges and yellows at the moment, which is why this  (3) yellow knit throw from West Elm caught my eye. Even though I live in sunny and warm Southern California, I'd pick a chunky knit over a thin woven throw any day!

Of course, every reading nook needs some bookshelves! My dream bookshelf scenario would include not only shelves all along the walls but also shelves with glass doors. I know, I know, why would I want to put a glass door between me and all my lovely books? Because of dust, that's why!

I found (1) these shelves on Arhaus.com and kind of fell in love. Not only do I really love that they have glass doors, but I also love that the thin wooden details along the front of the glass doors remind me of traditional Japanese sliding doors. Am I the only one that sees it? Anyways, I can imagine a bunch of these stacked up against the wall opposite my chair, so that I can see all my books as I sit by my window!

Now, I do a lot of my reading at night, so this means that I need a good light. Thankfully, Arhaus has quite a huge lighting section and it was really hard to pick just one! In this dream reading space scenario, I'm picturing hanging (2) this kind of old-fashioned pendant light right above my little armchair for the perfect nighttime reading light.

One thing I've learned about myself over the past couple of years is that I cannot read and eat at the same time. I either end up with food all over my book or so completely distracted that I have to go back later and reread the same passage. But I'm a big believer in a cup of tea with my reading, which means that my dream reading space has to have a place for me to place my mug!

At first, I was thinking of a slim side table, but then I came across (1) this amazing coffee table made out of petrified wood. I personally really love incorporating tree stumps into my home (I actually have a stump with a face carved into it on my hearth right now!). It brings a little bit of the outdoors in, softens a more modern, minimalist look and is actually one of my favorite design quirks. So yes, this amazing tree stump coffee table would be going in my dream reading space.

Because I wouldn't want to ruin such a beautiful table, I would place my mugs on (3) these crystal coasters from Anthropologie. And as for the mugs themselves, I would love a few (2) clear mugs like you see above. My grandmother used to have a bunch of small, clear mugs and now every time I drink tea out of anything clear I can't help but think of her!

So those are some of the elements I would love to have in my dream reading space or window nook. I think it's a pretty good reflection of my personal style: a bit simple, but with a few quirky and natural elements as well. As readers, I know we've all dreamed about our ideal reading nooks or home libraries. So my question to you is: what's one thing you'd love to have in your dream reading space?

Disclaimer: This post was created in cooperation with Arhaus.com to be featured on their social media channels. All opinions and product selections were my own. This post was NOT sponsored.


Memorial Day Weekend | Friday Reads

Ah, finally, a three day weekend. That means sleeping in, eating lots of great food, and, of course, time to catch up on reading. Most of the month I've been making my way through the audiobook of Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters, but this weekend I plan to focus on catching up on some review copies.

The Impossible Fairy Tale / Han Yujoo, translated by Janet Hong
I'm reading this to review over on April Magazine and I have to admit, I wasn't really sure what to think when I first started reading. It wasn't drawing me in, though I can't really pinpoint why. Thankfully, it's started to pick a little because my review is due next week!

The Girl Who Is Getting Married / Aoko Matsuda, translated by Angus Turvill
This is one of the beautiful Keshiki chapbooks I shared a few weeks ago and I am so very excited to read this one. The story's narrator is going to visit a friend from high school and apparently we get a new memory of their past with every floor he or she climbs. And this is only about 36 pages, so I will definitely be devouring The Girl Who Is Getting Married in one sitting.

Under the Tuscan Sun / Frances Mayes
I was supposed to have a review of this book up back at the end of March, so to say I need to start Under the Tuscan Sun is a massive understatement! But I'm not really worried because not only is it the memoir that inspired my favorite chick flick ever ( I love me some Diane Lane), but it also seems the perfect book to transition from spring to summer.

If you're based in the States, a very happy Memorial Day to you. What are you planning on reading this weekend?


Asian American Author Recommendations | Part II

Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! My absolute favorite way to honor my own Asian American heritage is by celebrating Asian American creatives of all kinds.  So hopefully you guys are able to find some authors and books that sound interesting on this latest installment of recommendations!

Books and Authors Mentioned:
Shortcomings / Killing and Dying / Adrian Tomine
> Watch the review
Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone / Sequoia Nagamatsu
> Watch the review
The Woman Warrior / Maxine Hong Kingston
> Read the review
Farewell to Manzanar / Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
The Buddha in the Attic / Julie Otsuka
> Watch the review
Do Not Say We Have Nothing / Madeleine Thien
> Watch the review
Sarong Party Girls / Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

If you're looking for even more recommendations for Asian American authors to check out, head on over to my first Asian American Author Recommendations video.


Bookshelf Tour & Life Update

If it seems like I've been a bit absent over the past couple of weeks or so, that's because I was in the process of moving! There was seemingly endless packing, furniture shopping, and lugging lots of heavy things. But I am finally all set up in my new apartment, which means that all my books are now (mostly) organized in their new homes.

Hope you enjoyed getting a look at my shelves. Do you like to organize your books by specific genres, categories, or authors? Or do you actively avoid any form of organization? I'd love to know!


Books I'll (Probably) Never Read | Original Tag

I can't believe I've been on BookTube for four years and have never created an original tag before! I've been binge watching beauty and lifestyle videos lately and came across the concept of the anti-haul, which ended up inspiring this video.

Even if you don't make videos, I'd love to read some of your answers in the comments of this post! Check out the questions and feel free to drop me an answer.

The Questions:
1) A really hyped book you're not interested in reading?
2) A series you won't start/won't be finishing?
3) A classic that you're just not interested in?
4) Any genres you never read?
5) A book on your shelves you'll probably never actually read?