After completing a dissertation, I confessed to a professor that my pleasure reading had suffered when graduate school began. He smiled as I reminisced about the simple joy of reading a book. Weeks later, I walked to the mailbox and opened a package with his congratulatory note and a book enclosed: The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz. Throughout the following weeks, I found myself laughing some moments, weeping others, as I thumbed through the pages of The Examined Life, Mark Twain’s, Huckleberry Finn, and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. My day began on a different note. I felt more empathic, calm and attuned to my surroundings, as one might feel after meditating. I sought out the perspective of a relative, a voracious reader, who had suffered from depression for years, and she remarked, “I wouldn’t just say reading has helped. The truth is that reading has saved me.” Not only is reading said to improve mental well-being but world leaders and successful executives have spoken about the benefits of reading in work and in life. According to Bill Gates, who reads approximately 50 books/year and writes a blog on books, “Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.” Thomas Jefferson once said, “I cannot live without books.” Sometimes it takes a nudge to pick up a book and allow yourself to embrace it. At Reading Retreat, we create time for you to enjoy a book — in a Vermont town called Reading.
Reading Retreat offers the space and environment to participate in themed retreats, each with scheduled time for reading. We invite you to connect with others, engage in activities that you enjoy, and find inspiration in stories that take you on a quiet journey into the imagination, along the road traveled by others, and a place where you too will ultimately discover parts of yourself. The mission at Reading Retreat is to bring people together around shared interests, foster an atmosphere of health and wellness, and encourage reading at a time when it is harder than ever to read, but also, a time when we need it the most. With an environment that encourages reading and healthy living, we hope you will form lifelong connections that help you continue to read, eat well, and get exercise. The pace of life is fast and it is easy to neglect good habits when tasks are at hand; nevertheless, such habits are more easily formed when they are encouraged by those in your life and the environment. We aim to create that space at Reading Retreat and to design retreats that you can return to when you feel a need to take respite for wellness and reading.