In his Rule, St Benedict says that monks should each take a book from the library and read it straight through.
In some monasteries the monks or nuns all read a biblical book (Dom Anselm knows a nun who was once given Obadiah to read – 1 chapter! She read various other books about Obadiah as well). At Downside Abbey we usually take a theological or spiritual book and read it through Lent. It is an opportunity to choose something a bit different, and to refresh our knowledge of theology or spirituality and to consider how we might apply it to our daily life.