Is a Reading Retreat the Next Yoga Retreat?

Feb 14, 2018

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In the past couple years, a new kind of retreat has been popping up and it doesn’t feature a spa or yoga, nor is it a creative writing getaway. Nope, it’s a reading retreat and there’s only one rule here: The reading room must be silent at all times. You don’t even have to BYOB (bring your own book).

People all around the world are turning to reading retreats as the next form of ultimate relaxation. Cressida Downing and Sara Noel started their own Reading Retreat in the United Kingdom and have had great success with book worms from all over the world. Visitors pay about $600 for a three-night stay in one of their cozy accommodations, including all meals, a published author at each stay and a tailored reading prescription although guests are allowed and encouraged to bring any book they’d like.

The Reading Retreat is not like reading at home or going on vacation and reading in your hotel room. As one guest told the BBC: “This is about giving myself permission to prioritize my reading. If I stayed home, I’d always be thinking that I should be doing other things — seeing friends, writing, cleaning, knitting.”

A 2014 study conducted in the UK reported that 41% of 25-39-year-olds were reading for pleasure less than they used to, and that nearly a quarter of adults in the UK hadn’t read one book for pleasure in the previous year. Experts suggest that people are distracted by screens in the digital age — but don’t fret, phones are allowed at the Reading Retreat, although the founders do encourage a digital detox and offer to confiscate phones and tablets upon arrival.

At the retreat, readers are encouraged to dive into their books whenever and wherever they like — even at the dinner table.

“Reading is not a passive thing,” Downing told the BBC. “Reading is about engaging and connecting. And reading, as scientists have discovered, does wonderful things for your brain and longevity and health so really, we’re probably better for you than a spa.”

H/T: BBC News

Featured image by @andrewkuttler via Twenty20

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