Something today that I think most can appreciate. A tweet from Unbridled Books linked to a wonderful blog post at Oxford University Press on slow blogging. From that post is a link to the Slow Blog Manifesto. Never heard of slow blogging? Me neither until today.

Slow blogging is about thinking, studying, learning and writing something meaningful. It is not about who can post the link to the latest breaking headline the fastest. It is about understanding and digesting something and not just spewing it out onto the internet. It is something that I think most book bloggers are inclined toward. Though I know I am guilty of brainless spewing (hopefully only now and then) just simply because I am in the habit of writing a blog post almost everyday and as a creature of habit, get a little twitchy when the routine is broken. However, I like the concept of it and think it can be carried over into other things like reading.

Slow reading. Ever rushed through a book just to be done with it? Or because you have a goal of reading 60 books a year and it’s the end of the year and you’ve only read 50 books? I’m sure everyone can add their own reason for rushing through a book that has nothing to do with the book being one of the “I can’t put it down” kind.

What would slow reading mean? Taking your time to squeeze out of a book everything it has to give you at that particular reading of it (assuming a re-read would give you additional gems). Thinking about what the book means and why certain things in it happened the way they did. It would also mean choosing books that leant themselves to slow reading, ones that offer depth of ideas and character and are, perhaps, challenging.

This is not to say there isn’t a time or place for fast reading and the kinds of books that facilitate that. But I think the idea of slow blogging and what I am trying to get at in saying slow reading is quality and meaningfulness over trash and shallowness. I think it requires a certain mindfulness and presence instead of, like I find myself doing all too often, thinking about work or errands or other things that need doing while my eyes move over the page but take in only just enough to follow the plot. The whole idea of doing something slowly runs contrary to our throw away consumer culture and the urge to do everything faster.

Slow blogging. Slow reading. Slow food. Even slow biking. There seems to be something to it, a yearning, perhaps, for the things we miss out on by being in such a hurry. Worth thinking more about.

Off to spend the evening wrapped in a blanket and slowly reading The Terror. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

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