Super Moms Get Super Tired: Design Your Daily Escape With a Reading Nook or Tiny Library

Moms share many things in common, but no two life stories are the same. Whether predictable or familiar, your unique life experiences set you apart, and the remaining chapters remain unfinished. What surprises lie ahead that could change your direction? 

As a mom, you take great care of your family, nurture and guide each child so that their hidden talents become more visible for all the world to see. In these chapters called “life,” as a mom, it’s easy to blur one moment into the next until we lose sight of ourselves, our hopes, and dreams. 

Reading offers a beautiful way for moms and children of any age to connect with one another. With so many genres and types of books to explore, options are limitless - find ones you both love, share stories, and make sense of the world together! 

All mommed out? A tiny library can help. 

All you "supermoms"* know that taking even a quick break can make all the difference during a hectic day. We all feel the pressure to get everything done, and can sense when we're in danger of being completely out of gas. In those moments, having a personal space to escape to could give you the break you need to re-charge and finish the day strong. 

Discover the escape made for you in a tiny library or reading nook. 



You could be minutes away from improving your mental and physical wellbeing.

What we feed our body matters, and what we feed our brain matters, too. It turns out that reading is one of many "superfoods" that stimulate our brain activity, opening our minds to learn by encouraging rational thought and sparking creativity.

There is a proven connection between reading books and living a long life*. Even setting 20 minutes aside each day to read can improve physical health, as the body responds to a stimulated brain by lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, and improving sleep quality. 

A child's imagination can soar in a book nook. 

Childhood today is inundated with technology and the constant stimulation of screens, allowing little opportunity for kids to exercise their imaginations. Books, on the other hand, give them access to magical experiences inside their own minds, as the power of words ignites their dreams and transports them to other worlds.

Early learners 

Introduce preschoolers to the power of books from an early age— They can meet new people, get to know animals, count numbers, and begin to see themselves as part of a big, amazing world.

Young students 

Make it easy for your grade schooler to get lost in a book: A tiny library promotes learning and self-exploration in whatever subjects spark their interest.

At this stage of their lives, reading can also bridge the gap between learning about a particular subject and knowing how it ticks. For example, a third grader can stare up at the sky in awe and marvel at how an airplane can fly. But by reading a book about inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright, he can now understand the journey behind the invention, the hard work and commitment of the Wright brothers, and how they changed society and travel forever. 

If your child tends to pull away when there are guests in the house or appears shy when extended family and friends get together, reading can help remove their reluctance to engage with other people.. 

Books can help children learn how to socialize* in the real world by offering a unique window into the lives of the characters they meet. Time spent immersed in a book in a tiny library allows children to identify with characters’ experiences and emotions, which can help build much-needed soft skills like emotional intelligence and empathy for others.  


An option you can agree on for teen privacy. 

If your household includes an adolescent or high schooler, the family dynamic can be challenging— especially if there are younger siblings in the mix. Older children may not want to be home as socializing with friends becomes a priority. Still other teenagers may find their escape in the confines of their bedroom, which can be concerning to a parent.  

Teens want independence. Moms want to stay connected. A reading nook or tiny library can be a place for teens to study with friends, learn and grow, and safely make new memories, all without Mom hovering - or getting stressed out. 

All kids, all the time? A reading nook lets you be a grown-up again. 

You wouldn't trade motherhood for anything, but you might give your right arm to recapture a time when you had some personal space—a private place to go with the freedom to think, pause, breathe, scream, or share giggles and gossip with your BFFs without interruption. 

Luckily, you can have this again without ever having to leave home...and thankfully, without sacrificing any limbs! 

A tiny library offers the space to think big. 

As a mom and a person, you evolve. Life circumstances and experiences shape who you are, how you respond to others, and what you strive for today and tomorrow.  

The books you read say a lot about your personal growth journey. Fiction, mysteries, romance, or fantasy novels can provide a private escape or simply a pleasurable experience to savor or share with friends and family. 

Finally, a little extra room for all those nonfiction and self help books on your wishlist. A new chance to explore the globe with your family— All from the comfort of home. 

Busy young moms are turning their reading nooks into mini work spaces, and cozy nap rooms for baby...and mom.   

It might be small, but a reading nook can help your family grow up. 

Moms with multiple kids can find enjoyment setting up storybook reading sessions after bathtime or before bed. Older brothers and sisters can take turns reading books out loud to gain confidence in the sound of their own voice and boost public speaking skills. 

For families living in a multi-gen home, grandparents will appreciate the extra space for quiet time or a built-in opportunity to read with the grandkids.  

Let Woodside take the guesswork out of helping you design a tiny library in your home and add lasting value to the family dynamic. 

Your family's needs are unique. That’s why our homes offer Living Well Solutions, with special design features and adaptable flex rooms. Create a reading nook by maximizing space in your child’s bedroom, or under the stairs. If you prefer something grander, explore the option of a tiny library, which you can also incorporate into a Woodside Work+ Space solution.  


Curate your own collection to put a personal stamp on the reading choices 

Organizing and filling shelves and cabinets with reading material can seem like an intense project. But there are many ways you can simplify the process, and make it fun, too: 

  1. Identify how many books your collection will have. The number of family members using the tiny library will help determine the amount of storage area you need. 

  2. Organize the book collections by the age range of your readers. 

  3. Color code the books. This can be done by adding colored tape or a colored sticky note to the binder of the book, making it easier to find. Say your toddler’s books are red, young children’s books are bright green, teenager reads are labeled blue, and adult books are tagged in yellow. When a book is misplaced, color categorizing creates an easy find and fix. 

  4. The books in a children’s collection can help teach valuable life lessons that come from someone else, a character in a book instead of mom—which can sometimes carry more weight. (Just keepin’ it real.) 

  5. To keep it all under control, start a reading ecosystem. Every few months, set aside a day to go through your collections with the kids and determine what stays. For the remaining books, consider taking them to a children’s shelter or house of worship so that other young people can experience the same happiness as your family did when they crack the cover and read that very first chapter. #sharethelove 

Technology can modernize the household reading nook 

If the family relies on smart apps to get through the day, then you could use technology to organize your tiny library.  

Instead of using a color-code system or searching through rows and rows of books to find an author or specific book title, a touchscreen panel installed at the wall could find the book for you.  

At the click of a button, technology can tell you exactly where it is, just by typing the title or author’s name. The tiny library smart system could program your collection by book genre, keeping readers focused on the type of written works that appeal to them most.  

If you want to steal time in the middle of the night to read but don’t want to disturb the entire household, connecting the lights in the tiny library to the smart system is an added benefit. As you scroll through the wall screen, your book of choice can be found, and a small light located on the same shelf will brighten just enough to guide your way to it. 

Setting the mood for every reader takes a little vision and collaboration 

If you gathered your besties and asked what their top five must-haves would be when designing their reading nook, you’d likely find the answers aren’t always the same.  

Book genres and authors will be different—even the book material itself can vary, from hard or soft covers to digital versions. These are some of the elements that can dictate how the tiny library will take shape. 

Some of the questions you can ask yourself are, “What time of day or night will the room get the most use?” or “Will the tiny library also be a guest bedroom on occasion, or a part-time office?” It matters because the big picture of how you’re going to use the space affects decisions on lighting, furniture, and color palettes. 


Before diving in head first, there’s a method to the madness 

At this point the reading nook is a blank slate, and your ideas are the blueprint of what could be. If the space will be more like a she-shed and not shared, the paint brush is yours, let the creativity begin. But if the tiny library is for the whole family, then everyone should have an opportunity to weigh in on the look and feel. 

Start with a mood board 

Trying to get everyone on the same page for any creative project can be fun, yet frustrating. You know what they say about opinions, everybody has one.  

Begin by creating a large mood board and make it a family event. Pull photos from magazines and include pictures of favorite books. Glue them onto a poster sheet or use an app like Canva and import the images onto a design board.  

Once that exercise is completed, gather and share what stands out most—note the primary colors, textures, and shapes on your mood board. Use the images as a guideline in choosing lighting, furniture, and other accents to fill the room with what’s pleasing to the eye and touch. 

Keep it age appropriate 

For homes with avid readers in every age group, keeping the nook a neutral space might be the wisest option. 

Cozy up and nose into it 

Include a hutch or storage bench for pillows and sofa throws. When it’s time for you or your child to use the tiny library: 

  1. Find your pillow.  

  2. Grab your blanket. 

  3. Snuggle in. 

  4. Let your troubles fade away.

Picking the right furniture starts with measuring the width of the walls from end to end, to get an idea of the size of furniture that makes sense. If there are windows, be sure to note the height of their lowest point—this could impact the type of furniture that would fit. If it’s a bay window, ideal for a reading nook, you could add a seating bench with cabinets below.  

If your tiny library plans are for a child’s room, a day bed with a trundle below it could work, with tubular pillows for added back support and style.  

Furniture can also maximize how the library is used and the number of people who can enjoy it at the same time. Consider a small pub table and chairs, a large chaise lounge for two, or a deep cushioned couch. 

Add a dimmer switch to set the mood that makes sense: low lights for romance or bedtime stories, and bright lights for studying. You could go all out and add a mock fireplace that turns on at the flip of a switch. 

The house rules 

It’s great to get comfortable in your nook, but there also needs to be respect for maintaining it.Set rules, and keep in mind that adults tend to make bigger messes than kids (hard to believe, but true!) 

Start by placing a chalkboard on a wall adjacent to the entry door or archway and use it as a sign in/sign out sheet, so you know who was in the room last. 

And here’s a potential list of rules to get you started: 

  • Leave it as you found it 

  • Shoes off, socks on 

  • Clean hands required 

  • No eating while reading 

  • Put your book back when finished 

The beauty of using a chalkboard is that the rules can change at a moment’s notice—oh the power of an eraser. For moms that want the family to experience time unplugged, you can prohibit the use of cellphones while inside, which guarantees your teenagers will never use the tiny library, ever. 😉 

A different way to selfcare— With your own tiny library. 

Responsibilities at home and the office are a mainstay for busy moms. They long for a vacation but can seldom carve out time to make it happen. Having a tiny library can be that next-best substitute. 

Schedule a weekly get together with friends. Sip on tea and savor a storyline from a recent suspense bestseller. Start your own book club and critique over a glass of burgundy and dark chocolate (it’s okay to break your own rules). Or just bring the book and talk about how you wanted to read it but didn’t have time. You’ll still have the wine and chocolate. 


Plan for a library from the ground up 

Trial and error is part of any first-time experience and designing a reading nook in your current home is no different. Go easy on yourself as some decisions will be winners and others will be lessons learned. 

Make your new home library the best version yet. 

With early planning, Woodside Home can help you design the ideal reading room with details according to your own specifications. Our many new models and floorplans will help streamline the process well before construction begins. 

Get started today with the home match quiz and discover room options, lifestyle amenities and beautiful communities to choose from in several states across the U.S. 

A tiny library can quickly become the heart of your home— Whether it's family members spending time together or getting some R&R time alone. 


Melanie Stern

Written by Melanie Stern - Mar 25, 2024

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