In the end, I took three books: giant spiderkilling hardcover biography, which I reread; giant spiderkilling hardcover collection, in which I read some lesser-known pieces and made notes about them; and book I'm reviewing (which I finished). I also read some .pdf books that I'd downloaded from Google Books, Antonia Fraser's Faith and Treason about the Gunpowder Plot because it was already in the house in the Land with No Internets and most of John Berendt's City of Falling Angels (on the plane on the way back).
I didn't write a lot, but I did think a lot. I thought as I was taking almost-daily walks to one of the earlier settlements in that part of the country--5 miles round trip from the old house I was staying in. I also cooked, baked, washed immense piles of dishes three times a day, and did a lot of wash, the latter requiring that I fill the ancient, quirky washer using huge buckets of water, which has done wonders for my upper-body strength.
I shooed flocks of wild geese off the lawn early in the morning and went kayaking when the water calmed down as the sun was setting. That was usually when the heron flew out of the woods and made his way across the water to another set of trees.
Sometimes, instead of reading, I watched the rain pour down and listened to the thunder, or I tried to figure out the different eras of the wallpaper peeling away from the lath-and-plaster walls.
There was no television and no newspapers, so unless I was visiting relatives and someone mentioned the news, I didn't know what was going on. I didn't miss it a bit.
It was a nineteenth-century sort of trip, come to think of it. In terms of scholarship, it wasn't very productive at all, but it was very satisfying.