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If I wanted to say, "I like to read in the chair next to my desk," would the best way to say this be, 机のとなりの椅子で読むのが好きです, or is there a more natural to say this (especially with the direction words)?

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Your sentence would sound okay if you replaced 読む with 本を読む or 読書(を)する, as in...

机の[隣]{となり}の椅子で本を読むのが好きです。
机の隣の椅子で読書(を)するのが好きです。

You use the verb 読む with an object... like 本を読む, 雑誌を読む, 新聞を読む. If not, you could use [読書]{どくしょ}(を)する.

I would probably say it this way...

机の[横]{よこ}の椅子で本を読むのが好きです。
机の横の椅子で読書(を)するのが好きです。

  • I believe 近く works here as well, as in: 机の近くの椅子で読書するのが好きです。 – psosuna May 15 '18 at 17:45
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    @psosuna そうですね・・それなら「机のそばの椅子で~」かなぁ・・ – Chocolate May 15 '18 at 22:54
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I feel 机のとなりの椅子で is a bid odd because I feel it means "in the chair right next to my desk" or "in the chair that adjoin my desk". However if you mean so, it would be no problem.

If you mean the distance between the chair and the desk is longer than "right next to" , you should use a word 横 as Chocolate said.

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I think I would say 机のとなり(の/にある)椅子に座って、本を読むのが好きです/読書するのが好きです。

In English that would translate to "I like to sit in the chair by my desk and read". An

I know that で is the "place of action" particle, but in my opinion it sounds a little unnatural in this context.

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