Reading seems to have become somewhat of a forgotten pursuit in New Zealand. Ever since the advent of television and the recent rise in popularity of video game entertainment, the simple book seems to have been left collecting dust on the shelf. This lack of traditional literacy is particularly apparent in younger Kiwis, with a 2010 Statistics New Zealand survey revealing that those between 12 and 24 only devoted about 10 minutes a day solely to reading.
It seems a real shame that so many young children could be missing out on some of our greatest pieces of culture, which is one of the reasons why the New Zealand government is supporting the Duffy Books in Homes programme, which supplies 90,000 children with five free books each of their choice every year.
This is a great way to help your kids develop their reading skills, but also a great opportunity to get involved yourself. The right environment can do wonders for learning, so get involved by designing a reading nook that isn't just great for your kids' reading, but can be a chic little addition to your home as well.
The great thing about designing a nook specifically for your children is that it doesn't have to take up much room. A recessed window, the corner of the living room - you could even take inspiration from Harry Potter and place it under the stairs.
Once you've found a space, the key is then to make it comfortable. First, physical comfort. Throws, pillows, mattresses, big comfy chairs - anything that says "lounge for hours" is great. However, an overstuffed armchair is just the beginning. Investigate your options in the right kind of lighting (a 100 watt lamp would be a good start) and the best colour combinations to induce a feeling of peace.
What kind of nook would it be without shelves? If you have a particularly small space, you may need to get creative, but even the smallest hollow can be enough to fit few select volumes. The inside of a futon, under a sofa, even in a disused fireplace - any nook and cranny can be filled with literature.
Of course, you may want to go the whole hog and invest in a place for the adults as well, perhaps convert an entire room to a library. If that sounds like a dream come true to you, you can access your current equity through a home refinancing from us here at Squirrel.