The Swedish retailer, IKEA, has partnered with the Man Booker Prize to launch a new initiative to get the nation reading for relaxation. The IKEA Reading Rooms will feature the 13 longlisted titles which can be read, enjoyed and taken home for free.
Following research by IKEA which revealed that 21.6 million (33%) of us only have time for a book when on a summer holiday, the two partners have taken action to get us reading in our everyday lives.
In the IKEA Wembley store, visitors will experience a reading haven in a Living Room space. Reading lamps, chairs and BILLY bookcases filled with a selection of this year’s finest fiction, as announced by the Man Booker Prize tomorrow, will be on hand.
The initiative is designed to help alleviate stress and help make the home a haven again. Over half of workers (59%) feel they are under pressure to respond to emails even when they are home and have finished official work hours — which suggests that preventing the trials of workplace from entering our homes has never been more important. Sitting down and disappearing into a good book is a way to do just that.
Research from the University of Sussex* shows that reading just six minutes a day can be enough to reduce stress levels by more than two-thirds. Meanwhile, research conducted by IKEA has found 64% of Brits believe TVs, laptops and smartphones often bring the stress and fast pace of the outside world into the place we should be experiencing pure relaxation.
Luis Lopez, Head of Living Rooms, IKEA UK and Ireland said, “The Reading Rooms give us a chance to use our retail space to inspire people to think about the importance of relaxation at home. Reading at home is good for your health and the living room is the perfect, tranquil setting to do so, providing a peaceful haven from the outside world.
“In partnering with The Man Booker Prize we know we are giving people the chance to read the best of this year’s books.”
Gaby Wood, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, said: “If you associate reading with holidays then you probably associate it with indulgence. And – it’s true – reading fiction can be, at its best, a form of escapism. But that doesn’t make it a guilty pleasure. It’s more like a fast route to better health. Our homes are filled with devices that allow the digital world to encroach on our private lives. Reclaim your privacy, and your imagination: read a book!”
At the IKEA Reading Rooms, visitors will be able to come to a dedicated space in IKEA Wembley and enjoy a good read in the most relaxing of conditions. Whether that is curling up on our cosy STRANDMON armchair, losing yourself in a story from our classic BILLY bookcase or propping your feet up after a long day on our comfy POÄNG footstool, this space will enable people to relax and unwind. With hour-long slots available from 10am-6pm Tuesday to Saturday and 11am-5pm Sunday, bookworms will be able to curl up with a book (which they can also take away with them) and unwind into a wonderful state of escapism in their own cosy, personal living room.
For more tips and inspiration on creating a living room space that helps you ‘relax into greatness’ at home, visit the IKEA website: https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/ideas/