We’re all going on a reading retreat…


UPDATE – Since this retreat, I’ve been on another – and set up www.readingretreat.co.uk – let us take you on a pampering reading retreat!


By ‘we’ I mean me.  And by ‘reading retreat’ I really mean me and fifteen books going on a little holiday.

I have cleared a space in my work, got my home responsibilities off-loaded, and I’m going to stay in this wonderful residential library – www.gladstonelibrary.org for four days.  I’ve never been on a reading retreat before so I’m making it up as I go along.  Here are my initial rules on how to have a reading retreat:

  • It must be somewhere else.  A trip purely for reading.  Not a holiday where you have to squeeze precious reading time away from trivialities such as seeing the Grand Canyon and so on.


  • You must be able to be anti-social.  I’m going on my own and don’t intend to make any friends.


  • Travelling there must involve reading.  I’ll be taking a very lengthy train trip to start me off on the right track.


  • Someone else is going to do the adult-stuff for you.  There is a cafe on site and I will not be making any of my own food for four days (or cooking for anyone else!)


  • Technology needs to be absent or at least reduced.  I adore my Kindle but I want to get back to reading basics and there’s something about a crisp new book that a crisp new electronic file can’t compete with.  I’m also intending to only be online for a short window each day.


  • Comfort is key.  We can safely say I will not be dressing to impress, I don’t want a belt digging in while I’m nose-deep into my book of choice.


  • Take notes – not an essay on each book but just a few quick notes to remind you when the retreat is done.


  • I am going to try and do a short walk once a day to refresh my reading palate too – a little bit of moving stirred in to some serious sloth.


  • Snacks (I have a serious reading + eating habit.)


  • No burn out – I often find myself crashing through work and house and admin in a desperate attempt to take a few days off, and then I sleep through those few days or come down with an exhaustion cold or fever.  Not this time.  I’m tapering off with work and leaving the washing up for someone else.


The big question of course is – what do you read on a reading retreat?  As it’s my first one, I’m going to take a little bit of everything.  I’ll discuss my choices in the next post.  Meanwhile what would make a perfect reading retreat for you?


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March 18, 2016