Saturday, June 26, 2010

Read. This. Slowly.

"Slow" has become the new cool. Perhaps this is most evident in the slow food movement, which emphasizes locally grown products and a true appreciation of eating.

Now, there is a "slow reading" movement that is gaining attention and followers. Is isn't so much a reaction to "speed reading" as it is a reaction to distracted reading. The internet's effect on our attention span has been widely discussed, but there is also its effect on our seeing reading as a matter of consuming as much information as we can as quickly as possible, by, for example, jumping from one page to another by the use of hyperlinks (such as the one I created in the previous paragraph). To reestablish a deeper connection with books and words, teachers are returning to such "old-fashioned" strategies as reading aloud in the classroom, and memorization (of poems, for example). As Lindsay Waters of Harvard University put it, "Instead of rushing by works so fast that we don't even muss up our hair, we should tarry, attend to the sensuousness of reading, allow ourselves to enter the experience of words." Chew those words slowly.

More information can be found (warning: hyperlink ahead) here.

No comments: