Hey middle graders!
Three tips for creating a fun, super-secret
reading space for summer! 

from author Ruthy Ballard at WhipSmart Books


The Tips

As an eager young book lover, you know it’s more fun to read under the covers. But creating a cozy, permanent space for your reading adventures is enjoyable, too!

Here are three tips for crafting a “room of your own” that will delight and inspire you this summer and all year long.

Tip 1: Choose a private spot. Think of your personal reading space as a secret pirate’s cave. It’s all yours. You can let other people in, but you don’t have to.

So… choose a location that’s off the beaten track, where you won’t get disturbed. The space doesn’t have to be large. It might be in the attic, under the eaves, a dark corner of the basement, or simply the space under your bed.

My secret spot is the loft above my art studio. I feel like an eagle in a nest up there!

Tip 2: Make it super-comfy. Decorate your new space with items that make you want to read there. How about a soft pillow, a warm blanket, and a bright flashlight? If you wear glasses, stow an extra pair there, so you always have them. Then, stock your space with the books you’re most excited to read next. And maybe… tuck away some of your favorite snacks. On long voyages to magical, faraway worlds, you’ll get hungry! 😉

Tip 3: Include a treasure chest. Your personal reading space is the perfect place to store, and enjoy, special items. If you don’t have a treasure chest already, now’s the time to create one. Your treasure chest can be fancy (scroll down to see mine) or very simple… whatever suits you best.

Once it’s ready, stock it with whatever you like… maybe a hawk’s feather you found on a hike, a beautiful seashell, or something you crafted by hand. As you add to your box over time, you’ll find yourself looking for new treasures everywhere.

Take a peek into my private reading space…


Climb up the ladder…

Here’s a photo taken from the ground floor of my art studio. Do you see the ladder that runs up the middle, and the loft at the top?

My reading spot is so out-of-the-way that no one visits me there but my “studio cat,” Bigfoot. Amazingly, he can make it up and down the ladder with ease. One-two-three!

My treasure chest


This is a photo of one corner of my reading area, where I keep a stash of my favorite books from childhood and… my treasure chest. I spied the box at Goodwill, and was drawn to it instantly. It looks like a real pirate’s chest, doesn’t it?

It contains some of my most precious possessions, including two old family heirlooms. One day, I’ll open the box and show you what’s inside.

I invite you to click the “Choose File” button at the bottom of the comments section to upload a photo of your own super-secret reading spot.