I’ve done a lot of research on why people love to read, and it really boils down to this: People read to escape. Whether or not you use those exact words, there’s a pretty good chance that you read to “immerse yourself in another world” or “get lost in someone else’s shoes.” Sounds like escape to me.
In fact, it’s just this notion of escape that led to the name GoneReading for my philanthropic organization. Book lovers are almost always thinking about how, where and when we can disappear with a great book. Tell the world I’ve checked out; I’ve gone reading.
Yet how often do we really escape and read? Not nearly enough.
So here’s some incentive. This article from Salon.com entitled Reading Retreats: Paradise for Book Lovers, highlights some amazing places and ways in which you can escape and read. It turns out there’s a movement afloat to provide book lovers with destinations solely dedicated to serious escape, and some serious reading.
From “reading retreats” at the 14th century Castello di Galeazza in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, to “reading weeks” at Gorna Lipnitsa, a traditional small holding set deep in the Bulgarian countryside, these retreats will help you get seriously lost in your favorite books.
Your Own Reading Retreat
But such reading extravaganzas are few and far between, to say the least. What about your own reading retreat? Do you have a special place where you go to read? If you don’t, you should think about finding one now.
It need not be extravagant. Your own reading retreat can be a nook in the house, a special chair in the back yard, your favorite coffee bar in town. The only requirement is that your retreat allows you to disappear and read, truly read, without distraction.
It doesn’t even need to be a place; it could be a time. My wife knows my favorite times of the week are Saturday and Sunday mornings when I can read uninterrupted for a few hours without distraction. I might be in the study, on the back porch, or in the living room. But it’s my time to read.
If Bill Gates Does It…
“Twice annually, Bill Gates schedules a week-long ‘reading retreat’ during which he does nothing but pore over the books and papers he’s set aside during the year,” according to the Salon story above. Yes, he’s Bill Gates and he can do whatever he wants. But I’m guessing that he’s been doing this his entire life. His dedication to reading – and establishing his reading retreats – is a cause of his success, not an effect.
So there it is. Establish your own reading retreat, make it a priority, and you will become Bill Gates.
Well, maybe not. But book lovers deserve, and in fact need, more reading in their lives. Finding your own reading retreat will help you do just that.
For more on the topic of reading retreats check out the following:
Happy reading!Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO