Crafting Cozy Corners: Your Go-To Guide for a Classroom Library Makeover

This image shows a classroom library with low bookshelves and pillows. The text at the bottom of the image reads "Crafting cozy corners: your go-to guide for a classroom library makeover."

Creating your classroom reading nook can feel like an intimidating task. 

You long to have a place where students love curling up and reading with a book, but you aren’t sure where to begin….or even what it could look like. 

So, let’s break it down. 

When you are thinking about classroom library ideas, you want to focus on two things: 

Storing & displaying your books 

✨ Turning it into an inviting and cozy space 

Grab some inspiration from the teachers highlighted below to create space for your students to enjoy their books! 

My Classroom Reading Corner 

Before we dive into the brilliant ideas from other fabulous teachers, let’s chat about a little project close to my heart—my classroom library.

I created a reading nook in my classroom that was practical, but still had a cozy feel.  

This image shows a classroom library with low bookshelves and pillows.

Luckily, I inherited the bookshelves from a teacher who was leaving.  

I LOVED having the lower-style bookshelves. It kept the books in an easy place for my students to reach. 

This image shows a closeup of a reading nook with low bookshelves that double as a bench. There are teal and gray pillows on top of the bench.

Also, having a shelf that doubles as a reading bench is a GREAT way to cozy up your reading corner. All I did was add some throw pillows that matched my classroom theme for that year. 

This image shows bookshelves with books separated by genre.

I organized my books by genre. This allowed students to glance through specific genres of books to find something that caught their eye! 

Ms. Kruegerr’s Reading Corner

Check out another reading corner created by Ms. Kruegerr! Her space is filled with lots of great classroom library ideas to bring into your own room. ❤️

This image shows a reading corner with low bookshelves and books organized in buckets. There are modern calm color decor items all around the classroom.

Photo Credit: @ms.kruegerr on Instagram 

She organized her books with buckets! Sometimes you can get more books on your shelves by placing them in buckets. 

To organize her books, she created buckets based on topics like animals, vehicles, Disney, science, fairy tales, and so many more! 

This is an easy way to organize your books so your little learners can find books about things they are interested in AND help you keep the library organized! 

Miss Jessica’s Reading Nook

Here is another space with LOTS of great classroom library ideas! 

This image shows classroom library ideas using two bookshelves. One bookshelf is lower and has picture books stored there. The other bookshelf is tall and has books organized in buckets by genres.

Photo Credit: @miss.jessicateaches on Instagram 

The idea to separate your picture books from your chapter books is a great one as you get into the upper years. 

Miss Jessica also used buckets to organize her books on the shelves. Her books are organized based on genre, author, and topic! 

If you have a lot of books from one author, creating a bucket for everything that author has written is a great system! 

I LOVE how she has a few books displayed at the top of each bookshelf. Those books always catch my eye in the library, so why not do it in your library? 

Finally, the little rug adds a cozy feel to her classroom reading corner. 😍

Cozy Classroom Library Ideas 

Here are pictures from three different classrooms that really emphasize how to take your classroom library and make it cozy. 

This image shows a cozy reading corner with bean bag chairs, a rug, and a floor lamp.

Photo Credit: @tara.phillips1 on Instagram 

The twinkle lights, floor lamp, beanbag chairs, and rug make this a perfect spot to curl up with a good book! 

Creating space around your bookshelves is a great way to encourage your students to start reading right away. 

This image shows a classroom library with a rug and pillows thrown together on the floor.

Photo Credit: @krusesclass

Here is another way to keep your reading corner simple, but cozy! 

Add a fluffy rug and lots of pillows to the floor to make it a fun space to be. 

I don’t know about your students, but mine ALWAYS loved being on the floor. So, why not capitalize on that? 

This image shows a reading nook with a bookshelf, bean bag chairs, a rug, and a basket filled with stuffed animals.

Photo Credit: @molding_little_minds on Instagram 

Add a basket of stuffed animals like Megan did in her classroom reading nook! 

This is a fun way to give students a little “buddy” to read with. Bonus points if the stuffed animals are book characters themselves! 😂

This image shows a cozy reading corner with a bench seat, buckets of books, and a tepee with pillows inside.

Photo Credit: @classwithmiss.k

Or, go all out and add a teepee or a tent that is SUPER special to your reading time. 

Also, check out the spinning shelf with picture books and how she made the top of her bookshelf a reading bench! 

All of these teachers have added some cozy elements to turn their classroom library ideas into a special place for their students.   

Tips for Finding Cozy Elements 

Now, if you’re asking yourself, how can I find these things for my classroom? Don’t worry! Here are some tips I have found myself and collected from other teachers over the years. 


A good bookshelf is the key to the start of a cozy reading corner, but they can get pricey. 

Look for bookshelves on Facebook Marketplace or at local thrift stores to find one for a cheaper price. 

If you are looking for a new bookshelf, check out IKEA. They have lots of different size options and often aren’t outrageous prices. 

Finally, always be listening to other teachers in your building. If someone is headed to a new school or is finished teaching, ask what will happen to their bookshelves. 

Book Buckets 

I would always start with your supply room, or wherever teachers dump items they are no longer needing. 

Otherwise, IKEA and Hobby Lobby have some GREAT bucket options that fit books nicely. 


Another one of the essential elements of a classroom library 😂. 

I LOVE looking at thrift stores for books that might be nice to have in my library. Check out if your thrift stores have a discount day and see how many books you can snag for a couple of bucks! 

Yard sales are another great place to look for books. 

And, don’t forget about those teachers who are headed out of your building or are finished teaching. They probably don’t want to store ALL of the books they have accumulated over the years. 😉

Pillows / Rugs 

These cozy elements are SO fun to add to your classroom reading corner, but can get pricey to add. 

Check out Facebook Marketplace, yard sales, and thrift stores to find some great deals! 

Otherwise, keep an eye out for sales at any other major stores to snag some cozy pillows and rugs at a cheaper price. 

Turning your classroom library into a cozy, classroom reading corner is a great way to encourage students to see reading as something enjoyable. 

And here’s the great thing, your space doesn’t have to be picture-perfect for students to love it. If you add a little bit of something special, they will think it’s the best thing ever. 

If you’re looking for more ways to encourage your kiddos to become little bookworms, check out this blog post!

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