“I know this is really weird, but when I was packing to come here I gathered up this huge stack of books…”
First: no. This is not really weird, at least among this community of people. This is really common — or at least is one of the chief usual approaches. We are at Laity Lodge, and so we are a self-selecting group of those for whom a Christian life, well-rounded, is central. We might not all be readers, but the library/bookstore here is not for show. (It’s a library while you’re here, and one pays for the book if one takes it home.)
The preferred, independently-arrived at, strategy* seems to be to bring a handful of books for each potential reading-mood: light things, deep things, ‘meaning to read this’ things, backlog things… a sampling from one’s stacks at home. Besides, one wouldn’t want to run out, not when there’s no connectivity for checking out digital books from the library back home!
Second: this Quiet Retreat is fenced-around time, and so beautifully suited to us who bring a reading-room’s-worth with us even when our itineraries are fully booked. What’s more glorious during expansive time than to Just. Read…
…is this the book equivalent of soaking until one’s hands and feet (and maybe legs) are pruned up?
Yeah, it was odd to me to hear more than one person begin that sentence. I was more than happy to ease their minds and demonstrate Lodge-normal. This is pastoral care I can quickly get behind. 😉
*I heard at least three unconnected people describe this strategy… and it’s the one I, myself, used. Ha!