Thursday, January 31, 2008

How about slow reading?

Today I read an excellent article in the New York Times about the slow movement ('The Slow Life Picks Up Speed').

Penelope Green described in the article the growth and development of the movement. If you thought that slow refers only to slow food, think again - now you can find slow design, slow cities, slow travel and much more. And it also goes online - in mid-march, according to the article, a new website -
www.slowplanet.com will go online and it aims to be a hub for all thing slow.

Geir Berthelsen, who is the founder of the World Institute of Slowness, a Norwegian advocacy group, and who is behind the new website, said in the article: " The time is now ripe for trying to formalize this slow revolution". It got me thinking - is there also a slow reading?

But what can be defined as a slow reading? so here are few ideas that I thought about:

1. There's the literal translation of actually reading slower.
In Wikipedia it says that "slow reading refers to practices that deliberately reduce the rate of reading to increase comprehension or pleasure. The concept appears to have originated in the study of philosophy and literature as a technique to more fully comprehend and appreciate a complex text."

2. The slow movement also has a strong theme of locality, so slow reading can be translated into supporting local independent bookstores, local writers and even your local library. Last November I mentioned
Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, which is definitely an example of slow reading in terms of locality.

3. The slow movement is also endorsing alternatives to mass production and therefore I thought that print on demand (POD) can be considered as slow reading. It also goes well with the greenness of printing on demand.

These are only few rough ideas I had and I'll be happy to hear from you what is your definition of slow reading. Feel free to drop a comment and share thoughts with us.

For more information on the slow movement you can check
www.inpraiseofslow.com, the blog of Carl Honore, the author of the great book "In Praise of Slow: Challenging the Cult of Speed".

Yours,
Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

1 comment:

John Miedema said...

I have been thinking about the environmental impact of digital vs. paper reading. As I see it, digital has a much higher impact for three reasons. One, the increase of plastics and toxins like mercury in the landfills. Two, the high rate of energy consumption for producing digital content, e.g., Google's second highest cost, next to labour, is energy. Third, the decreased reuse of print because a printer is connected to most computers. This third reason may be a lesser concern, I believe, because the use of paper creates a market incentive to plant trees, just like the Christmas tree industry. Great site. Would enjoy hearing your thoughts on the above.