Friday, August 3, 2012
Reading Fast and Slow
These polarities of fastness and slowness have been showing up in my life more lately. I have been watching the Olympics. Usually I enjoy the fast events like swimming and bike racing. But I also really appreciate the events in which slower movements are as essential as fast ones, such as in gymnastics, archery and synchronized swimming. One of my favorite blogs recently did an article on living slowly and how it relieves stress. I also recently skimmed over the book, Thinking Fast and Slow in which Nobel-Prize winning author Daniel Kahneman examines two systems of the brain and how one works fast and the other slow. I reserved the book so I can read it more slowly at a later time.
That got me thinking about how I read. I really enjoy books I can read fast. Thrillers like those by Lee Child and Harlan Coben I read fast, usually in a day or two. But other books I deliberately read more slowly. Sometimes it is to think or feel more deeply about the content and how it relates to my world (Like Unbroken and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance). At other times it is to savor the poetic beauty of the language (like Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy or Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. To me the books that are most meaningful over time, books I still think about years later, are the ones I read slowly.
What are some books that you have read more slowly just to savor or think deeply about?