Book Fetish

Build an Outdoor Reading Oasis

Jean Kuo Lee

Staff Writer

Jean Kuo Lee is a writer from California with a B.A. in English from UCLA, a former career in interior design, and a current calling to homeschool her children. She writes for parents and kids on several blogs with publications forthcoming. To contact her or to see more of her work, visit Twitter: @JeanKuoLee

It’s been a mild spring in California this year. Breezy days, plenty of sunshine, and 75-degree weather makes me want to spend more time outdoors enjoying it all. While I have numerous reading nooks that I’ve created indoors, I’ve yet to invest in a nice outdoor reading oasis that will invite me (and other bookworms) to spend more time outside.

Here I’ve attempted to create an appealing outdoor space for people who want a comfy spot outside to do their favorite thing in the world: read. I figure that a sense of coziness is essential, so some privacy screens or partitions will be good to help achieve that. An outdoor rug is also imperative: it will do triple duty if it can weather the elements, give softness to a concrete or wooden patio, and pull together a group of furniture visually. Simple furniture matters, of course, for comfortable lounging and for a place to put your books and drinks. And don’t overlook the shade factor. We all know that once we get going with the books, we can read for hours. No bad sunburns here!

Read on for some of Book Riot’s suggestions on building an outdoor reading oasis. And remember when shopping for your outdoor oasis, always choose outdoor-rated and weatherproof materials to make it last for years.

Note: availability and pricing listed are current as of the writing of this article

Create Coziness: Use Privacy Screens, Partitions, or Potted Plants

steel privacy screen and partition photo

I love the arrow pattern of this galvanized steel privacy screen and partition. Corrosion resistant, sturdy, and attractive, it can instantly carve out a spot in the yard for cozy reading. $499. Don’t forget to soften the lines and create some ambiance with some plants!

wooden privacy screen photo

Alternatively, for a more affordable partition, this wooden privacy screen happens to be gorgeous and easy to install with minimal skills required. $129.98.

faux plant photo

You could also hang some potted plants on your patio to create some much-needed privacy or greenery. But suppose you cannot keep anything green alive? This faux plant is a no-brainer for $29.99.

Bring the Indoors Out: Furnish with rugs, furniture, and reading cushions

Rust Diamond Reversible Indoor Outdoor Rio Floor Mat photo

For $45, this 6’W x 9’L reversible indoor/outdoor floor mat is a steal. Whatever color and pattern you get, make sure it’s outdoor-rated and large enough to define your lounge area.

hanging all-weather wicker chair photo

For something different besides the typical lounge chair, try this hanging all-weather wicker chair. $264

hammock photo

I think a hammock strung between two shade trees would be ideal. But if you don’t have that, this hammock includes a space-saving stand that could be your favorite reading spot outside. $209.

chaise lounge photo

If you’re going to read for hours, might as well do it in the utmost comfort! This chaise lounge has an adjustable back and cushions. $500.

adirondack rocking chair photo

Leisurely rocking while reading is something you have to try. Here’s the perfect low, Adirondack rocking chair. $329.

indoor outdoor floor cushion photo

Sometimes, though, an indoor/outdoor floor cushion does the trick. $239.

Consider the Practical: Provide Shade

umbrella photo

I like how this umbrella doubles as a side table! $359.

gazebo photo

I’m partial to a more permanent structure, but this steel pop-up gazebo creates instant shade for a mere $148.

If you’re looking for inspiration on outdoor reading nooks, be sure to check out 10 Gorgeous Outdoor Reading Nooks. For ideas on bringing the outdoors in, see How to Bring an Outdoor Reading Experience Indoors.