My Quest for the Best Read Aloud Chair
I don’t ask for much. A library with some good books. A Rav4 with a working engine. A bowl of oatmeal every morning. I don’t think I’m a picky person.
But then I went shopping for a new read aloud chair.
I wanted something comfortable and quiet. No problem. That’s what I thought.
I live in a town that is the birthplace of the Herman Miller furniture company. If you don’t know the company, you might know some of their most famous products:
When it comes to mid-century modern style, Herman Miller is the go-to. But I didn’t need an expensive, designer chair. This thing needed to be a workhorse. The kind of workhorse that wouldn’t bring me to tears if it was damaged in any way.
So I visited the local Herman Miller company store. It’s sort of like an outlet mall. They have cool fabrics like this:
They have posters like this:
They have a coat hanger that looks like this:
And they had a few chairs:
And this was just one of three giant rooms. The place was a little overwhelming.
Then I started looking at individual chairs. Did I want to make a statement?
An even bigger statement?
Did I want to look like Roger Sterling from Mad Men?
Did I want something bright and uncomfortable?
Subdued and uncomfortable?
Comfortable and stationary?
Something that would make me look like a Southern gentleman?
Made of wool?
I realized I had to add wheels and armrests to my list of read aloud chair requirements. Both are very helpful during story time.
And I also had to adjust my price expectations. Not everything was a deal.
And just when I found something where the price was right . . .
I looked a little closer and realized that there was a reason.
This chair would unravel by October.
This was going to be harder than I thought.
But eventually, I managed to narrow it down. I found a simple chair that was comfortable. It had wheels. Armrests. It was quiet! A chair that could turn this squeaky flopper . . .
Into this . . .
Boring, you say? My reply: I like to let the books be the star of the read aloud show.
But what I REALLY want to know now is what YOUR read aloud chair looks like. On Twitter, share yours with the hashtag #readaloudchair.
Filed under: Reviews
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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