A Reading Retreat at Sea Ranch is the perfect book lovers idea of a vacation. Whether you go off on your own or with friends from your Book Club, a Sea Ranch vacation rental makes the perfect reader’s getaway for a literary holiday.
Learn more about planning your getaway to Sea Ranch with your best book buddy. In this post, we explore ideas and offer suggestions for setting up your next Sea Ranch Reading Retreat Holiday.
Why a Reading Retreat
For a book lover, asking, “Why read?” is like asking, “Why breathe?”
It’s just what you do!
Now imagine pairing your reason for existing with a reason for vacationing. That’s right, a holiday devoted exclusively for the pleasure of soaking up the written word.
Perfect ~ Right?!
And why not? Bill Gates prides himself on taking regular week-long reading retreats to finally devote himself to all the books he’s put aside to read eventually.
Well, eventually has arrived!
A Solo Reading Retreat, Family Holiday or Book Club
So you’re ready to retreat to reading. Now you just need to determine what your retreat will look like. We know one of these suggestions are sure to match your personality and reading type.
Indie Reader’s Vacation
For the independent, solo vacationer, also known as Indie Traveler, a reader’s vacation at Sea Ranch offers the perfect mix of seclusion, quiet and idleness that naturally invites long bouts of reading. Without the hustle and bustle of big city noises, chatty family members or children running amok, those books you’ve been meaning to crack open are more likely to be read before Labor Day signals the close of summer reading.
But of course, who said you can only read during summer? That’s the nice thing about being an Indie Traveler. You can book your reading retreat at a time of the year that best suits you.
Family Reading Retreat
A family reading retreat is a great way to have an unplugged vacation. Did you know that research from the University of California, Los Angeles showed children who spent time unplugged were better at reading human emotions when compared to children who spent more time with technology?
When you keep up the reading routines already in place at your house while on vacation you’re on your way to raising a summer reader. Start a holiday ritual that makes books the center of your vacation. Read with your kids every day — whether it’s just before bedtime or next to the ocean bluff on a lazy afternoon.
And don’t forget to take a book when you explore the beach with its tide pools, the meadows with its creatures in among the grasses, or the redwood-lined hills crowned by fog.
Just remember to dust off the pages when you return.
Traditional Book Club Retreat
A Book Club Retreat to Sea Ranch is a lovely way to host a reading focused gathering. Bring your reading buddies and your books to enjoy a few days of reading mixed with camaraderie. The nice thing about Sea Ranch is you don’t have to keep the book talk inside. Consider having those deep discussions as you walk together along the ocean bluff trails.
Silent Book Club
Another option for those of you who love books, and reading in the company of friends but without all that discussion, start a Silent Book Club. Simply invite along some friends to relish the companionable silence of reading any book your want. There’s no forced reading some random book you really have no interested in. There’s no scrambling to finish coupled with the pressure to have something smart to say. It’s the type of book club where you just enjoy books, friends, and even a glass of wine—without any of the homework!
With a little coordination from your vacation rental host, it could be the best way for you to gain a real sense of place beyond your vacation rental. In Sea Ranch, there are many potential venues, including the Sea Ranch Lodge, the Four-eyed Bookstore, and various cafes, where you, book pals, and the community can come together as one silent gathering of readers.
If this would be something you and your “bibliophile phriends” might like to try while staying at Abalone Bay, give a shout out to us and we’ll be happy to help.
Making Your Reading Retreat Work
Getting the nuts and bolts details sorted out may be the most challenging part of making your reading retreat work. There’s the coordinating calendars, the group size, selecting the books, divvying up the duties, determining the budget.
Sorting out the Details
Ideally, when you gather at a reading retreat you are already familiar with the members of your book club. This way you don’t have to worry about introductions taking away from precious reading time.
It will be important to discuss openly the expectations for the gathering among all. For example, determine ahead of time if there will be time scheduled to do more than reading.
When you discuss each of your desired agendas ahead of time all can be assured you will have your special time as well as be part of the group.
If you select a house or a condo make sure everyone knows where everyone will be sleeping and if sharing rooms or beds, with whom. Know exactly what kind and how many beds are available and how they will be distributed among your friends.
A vacation rental advertisement may say sleeps six, but there may only be three individual beds. Then there’s the sorting out of sleeping arrangements. Can you and your reading pals share a bed? Does someone snore?
Food Preparation Plans
How will meal preparation rotations be determined? What if someone has a food allergy? What happens when you’re reading you get to the good part and now it’s dinner time?
We recommend you prepare your meals in advance and simply reheat them. Most vacation rentals have microwaves. Some, like Abalone Bay, may even convection ovens.
While many local restaurants in and near Sea Ranch may offer takeout, they, unfortunately, do not deliver. A really nice treat may be to have a dinner catered. For you hardcore readers, finger-food is perfect for eating and reading uninterrupted.
Have Plenty to Drink
Be sure to stock up on hot drinks! Find some tantalizing herbal teas or even flavored coffees and hot chocolates. Don’t forget marshmallows and whipped cream if you have a sweet tooth. In the warmer months, iced tea is a great alternative. You may even want to try pairing your book with a brew from a local brewery. For the evening you might want a nice glass of wine as you turn down the lights and relax with your book.
When you plan your reading retreat at Abalone Bay, you’ll be happy to know we offer a starter packet of locally roasted coffee. You’ll also find tea bags available. Heat your water using our electric tea kettle then brew it in our Japanese tea kettle and matching cups. For the coffee aficionados, we provide three different ways to brew your coffee: electric drip, French press, or stovetop espresso.
When to Book
Book your stay for a long weekend (at least three full days). This allows you sufficient time to really devour your book. Some recommend you not schedule your retreat during the summer. You won’t want to find yourself lured away by outdoor activities. Furthermore, it’s worth noting vacation rentals are cheaper in the offseason.
However, at Sea Ranch, you may actually find summer to be a more congenial reading season. As summer’s fog encases your vacation rental and onshore breezes whip along the grasses you’ll certainly want to curl up with a good book in front of the fire.
Time Your Reading Retreat with a Book Signing Event
Before you book your Sea Ranch reading retreat be sure to visit the Four-Eyed Frog Bookstore’s events page on Facebook to discover who may be signing their latest publication. You’ll have a great chance to not only get a signed book but also develop a real connection to its author. It’s also a great way for children to make the writing and reading connection.
Here’s one such children’s book signing at “The Frog.”
Is It All Really Worth It?
All this preplanning can just about drive you crazy. And you haven’t yet settled on what book you will be reading. Why it can make you almost want to give up reading!
Well, I did say almost!
Pick a Book (or Two)
Having the right book is the essential ingredient for your literary holiday. You can set off for your vacation rental reading retreat with the hopes they have books you can read while you enjoy your holiday. We recommend you play it safe by checking with the owner first to assure you’ll have reading material you like.
At Abalone Bay, we have a selection of local authors, books on the flora, fauna, and geology, hiking tips, and mushrooming. There is also a small collection fo Danielle Steele books, and Sci-Fi. We also provide a selection of children’s books.
Of course for those of you who have an organized book club or child in school, the required reading list may be set up for you already. But for those of you still in need of book or two here are a few recommendations for your reading-fest.
Books that Connect You to Place
Pair your trip with books that will help you and/or your children relate to the Sea Ranch, Mendonoma region intriguing. These may be non-fictional books that relate to our Mendonoma coastal environment, fauna, flora, geology, history or famous characters. It may also include books on the architecture and design movement that made The Sea Ranch world renown.
We suggest the books listed below written by local authors. These and many others are available in the library of Sea Ranch Abalone Bay.
Shaping the Sonoma-Mendocino Coast – Exploring the Coastal Geology of Northern California, by Thomas E. Cochrane, River Beach Press, 2017.
Legendary Locals of The Mendonoma Coast, by Tammy Durston, Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2012.
The Sea Ranch: Fifty Years of Architecture, Landscape, Place, and Community on the Northern California Coast by Donlyn Lyndon, and Jim Alinder. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2013
Mendonoma Sightings Throughout the Year by Jeanne Jackson and Craig Tooley. Mendonoma Sightings Publisher, 2014
A great selection of historical fiction set in California for children can be found here.
Start a Series
A book series is a great way to get your children ensnared in reading. It is also a great way to let you be transported into new worlds, as you following fascinating characters developing in complexity through time.
For a listing of children’s book series selected by the Children’s Book Review for 2018 click here.
Other best selling book series for both adults and children can be found here.
Stick to One Author
By sticking to one author you have you enjoy books written in the same writing style. When you find an author you love, you’ll want to read everything by them. By the time you finish your favorite author’s latest book you’ll naturally be on pins and needles waiting for the next one to be published.
You’ll have lots to choose from these authors:
- Stephen King (Bravo for those of you not afraid of nightmares)
- Danielle Steel (You’ll find a few at Abalone Bay)
- J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith (Clever you, choosing an author who writes under a pseudonym)
Consider Genres or Themes
Some book clubs are divided into genre groups, each featuring a specific theme or style. Be it romance, mystery/thrillers, memoirs, it might be easier to determine what books to read when you start with a genre in mind. Another option is to pick books that explore similar topics. Relish your reading retreat time spent in a particular country, historical era. Or maybe you want a weekend steeped in romance.
Click here for a list of 100 diary-style books, also known as epistolary novels. They offer you a perfectly innocent opportunity for a voyeuristic peek into someone else’s life.
Ready for Your Reading Retreat?
Are you excited and ready for your Sea Ranch reading retreat? So are we! As Albus Dumbledore of Harry Potter fame says, “Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.”
A Sea Ranch reading retreat offers you the chance to slip into an entirely different world, to explore new ideas and just relax. At Abalone Bay, we have cultivated an ideal habitat for our bibliophile guests.
Contact us now to book your great escape into your favorite book.
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