On slow reading

I am a slow reader of prose. I mean, most often. Occasionally I end up devouring something in an afternoon or a few days, but frankly, once most prose passes under my eyes, I start to nod off. It can take me a month to read a novel. It’s no judgment on the work at hand, really, but 99 times out of 100, I read two to five pages and am gone. But this article seems to suggest some people do this on purpose — preferring to pause and think while they read. Huh. Seems like a lot of effort.

“Slow” has become an adjective across many disciplines over the last half-decade or so. We’ve seen slow fashion as an alternate to fast fashion, where the emphasis is on purchasing fewer, more high-quality clothing in order to opt-out of the trendy and cheap styles that cause global harm (which isn’t to say there aren’t privileges that come with being able to afford or access slow fashion). We’ve seen leaders in librarianship suggest the field pivot to slow librarianship and move away from fetishizing non-stop innovation so that the core of the profession — helping others acquire information and making information as free and accessible as possible. The root of the slow movement is intention and mindfulness, as well as a desire to eschew social and cultural norms around capitalism and consumerism are foundational.

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