To consider yourself a reader, all you need is a book. It’s as simple as that.
However—and picture me saying this with a huge nerdy grin—if you’re looking for ways to elevate your reading experience, the Modern Mrs Darcy and What Should I Read Next teams are here for you. We often trade tips on what’s adding comfort and joy to our reading lives, and you don’t have to ask us twice to share some of our favorite bookish and book-adjacent things that bring joy to our reading lives.
For more ideas, check out Brenna and Holly’s Patreon bonus episode where they talk about reading with all five senses. It’s filled with great tips!
I hope you’ll enjoy perusing our team’s favorite bookish things and that they help you figure out ways to elevate your own reading life. And of course you know we’d love to hear your favorites in comments!
Spotify playlists. Reading playlists, atmospheric soundtracks, and meditative nature recordings have been the engine behind my reading life this year! It’s great to settle into my sound-dampening headphones and disappear into a story, letting the music drown out the rest of the world. A couple of my go-to playlists are Atmospheric Sci-fi Soundtracks and, for Sad Books, Melancholy Instrumentals.
Mountain Rose Herbs bulk tea. My reading drink of choice lately has been a home blend of honeybush and raspberry leaf herbal tea sweetened with honey. When I want a little caffeine I am absolutely devoted to their Assam black tea with a bit of coconut milk and honey.
Berkshire Blanket. My must-have for reading (and watching movies or tv and working at my desk) is a cozy blanket. Seven years ago, I found a Berkshire Blanket in HomeGoods. It was so fluffy and soft. I brought it home and the Hubby and I immediately began “fighting” over it so I went and bought one for him. Now our house has four of them in various locations. I even put it on my feet at night. They are beginning to show a bit of wear so I may have to get new ones. Can anyone recommend a weighted blanket? My body is telling me that I would LOVE one of those.
In The Reads Woodmarks. I have a few of these wooden bookmarks, including this one, and I want all of them. I love the art and the assortment of quotes, maps, and bookish references, plus they hold up well to heavy books and traveling without getting crumpled like paper bookmarks can.
Stone diffuser for essential oils. The soft glow is so cozy and it’s really well made.
Tea lights. Candles aren’t an uncommon accompaniment to reading, but I’m talking about tea lights specifically. I always find myself “saving” the good candles to the point where I don’t light them enough. (I’m working on that impulse of “saving the good stuff.”) In the meantime, tea lights are my baby step. Since they’re common, they don’t feel precious. But tea lights really are an underrated candle. I love to light one in the morning when I’m doing contemplative reading in the early hours. I love to light them at dinner time, when they’re sure not to drip all over my table. Then I like to light them again in the evening when I’m reading (or watching BookTube). The next day gets a brand new fresh candle. I bought a 100 pack from my big box store for less than $5, and that will last me all season. You can’t beat that much twinkle for the price, but you can find fancier ones on Etsy and at your local shop.
ASMR rooms. This year I discovered BookTube (which has been both good and terrible for my reading life, you understand), and most importantly have gotten rather picky about my ASMR rooms. Living in Hawaii, a proper fireplace is not a current reality for me, so I’ve become one of those people that stream fireplaces on my television. It’s not as good as the real thing, but it does bring the cozy. Cat Trumpet has the best fireplaces on YouTube. They’re long-lasting so they don’t interrupt your reading, and they also have nature, anime, and other soothing nerdy-adjacent videos perfect for reading. For a more immersive atmosphere, Ambience of Yesteryear offers cozy rooms in every era—Victorian, Edwardian, Tudor, medieval, leafy courtyards, Sherlock Holmes’s parlor, and farmhouses at the holidays. It’s also the perfect season now for streaming Anne’s own library. I wait all year for this favorite reading room.
Post-it Flag Pen. When I’m reading a book I own that I know I’m going to take lots of notes in, I get out my Post-it Flag Pen because it has it all: it’s a highlighter, a pen, and it has post-it flags attached!
Garnet Hill Plush-Loft Blanket and Throw. Most throw blankets are too small and light for my tastes, but this one is perfection. It’s super soft, has a bit of weight to it and covers me from head to toe. I can’t imagine my cozy reading nook without it!
Libib. A few years ago, a Twitter friend shared about adding all the books she owned to Libib. An inventory at your fingertips? I immediately signed up. They’ve made it incredibly easy to catalog print books. You just scan the barcodes using their app! It’s magic. Since I had recently moved at the time, it made unpacking my books way more fun. Scanning the barcode is the first thing I do when a new book comes into my home. If you decide you no longer need a copy of something, it’s also easy to remove it from your catalog. You can create other shelves if you want to have a separate TBR or categorize by genre but I use it just for the digital record of what I own. No more accidentally buying duplicate copies. And, for better or worse, I now know how many books are in my place.
Book darts. This is an old school pick, in that longtime readers have surely heard me gush about them before, but they really are one of my favorite things. They make it so easy to read for fun while easily marking passages I may want to return to later, plus they work so well in tandem with my new journal. I often leave my book darts in my books when I finish them, and get such a kick out of coming across them when I re-read something.
What are your favorite bookish things? We’d love to hear what adds comfort and joy to your reading life.