My thoughts were about the lady or gentleman who used the chair in its period. Perhaps it was sat in by an educated gentleman of class who wore a powdered wig and knee britches. Fashion was changing during this time and he might have been considering that Ben Franklin had recently appeared in a French court sporting his own unadorned hair. No wig? Surely there was some comfort in that trend.
I much prefer to consider that the chair was used by a young woman, perhaps pursuing some avenue of study. If so, she might have been dressed like these ladies engaged in needlework.
Reading is more of a solitary pursuit, unless she were reading to someone else in the room. In my story, though, she is a young lady who has her feet propped on another piece of furniture and she is so completely lost in her novel that she is unaware that wax is dripping from the candle onto her skirts. How do I know she has her feet propped up? She has kicked off her shoes!!
Note: I googled metaphoric chair. Most of the image results show chairs that can also function as library steps.