I’ve never understood the ‘holiday reading’ thing. I usually take a couple of books away but rarely read them once stepping off the plane.
You go on holiday to do things you don’t normally do, right? So why would I spend my time in exciting foreign surroundings with my nose in a book? There is time enough to do that at home.
We don’t go on holiday to relax any more! Deskbound, stationary and staring at screens or other mediums containing words during work time, surely it’s a waste of our free time to lie around on a beach, with some ‘lite’ reading.
I don’t know about you, but I go on hols for action not relaxation – mountain tramping, people watching, eating and early Romanesque church hunting.
Or I spend time with friends and family.
I’ve just spent a week in a rather lovely manor house in Northumberland with a large group of friends. We had books galore. We were happy to abandon a trip to Holy Island due to torrential rain and pile into Barter Books in Alnwick instead, one of the world’s biggest second-hand book stores. However, as the friends live in four different countries and for some of us it was a once a year meet-up, inevitably not a lot of reading was done. And the weather improved.
And yet, I was quite attracted by the idea of a bibliotherapy holiday in a nice building and interesting location, in today’s Telegraph travel section. ‘Literary holidays: the Reading Retreat in Suffolk’ describes a type of bibliotherapy that doesn’t need to be prescribed by a doctor, however, it’s the type sought by the slightly busy and stressed person who wants to ‘rediscover reading’ in a lovely environment: a parent of young children; a newly-retired executive; or perhaps the Prime Minister of Canada.
Following a rather pricy (£40) bibliotherapy phone call, you are prescribed specially tailored reading matter.
There are also Reading Weekends run by ‘The School of Life’ including bibliotherapy and a chance to discuss books with ‘like minded lovelies’. These are around £400 a weekend.(You can also buy a course from them on How to Spend Time Alone.)
Of course, I don’t need anyone to recommend books and if you’re reading this you probably don’t either. Some of us have piles of up to 40 must-read books they’ve had absolutely no trouble discovering.
But those that do could get expert advice from their local librarian.
They won’t even charge £20; I believe it’s yet another great aspect of a free service.
Or you’re welcome to choose from my piles of books…