Throughout history monks have been associated with books and with reading. In the Rule St Benedict gives time every day for reading (lectio divina/spiritual reading) and for learning the Psalms better, and he places even more emphasis on this in Lent, when the monks are to take a book from the library and read it all the way through. The monastery library at Downside is a wonderful collection of almost half a million volumes. You can find out more about our monastery library collections here.

At Downside we still have this custom, and so we asked some of the monks what they have chosen to read during Lent. Listen to the answers on our Soundcloud page.

The bookshop at Downside has a wide range of books, which are still available for sale and can be viewed on our online shop.