Diary, Photo, Reading

on reading a book slowly…

…I’m for it. Reading a book slowly, that is. Not just any book. Some books really benefit from slow reading. Last year I joined shelfari and found it revolutionized my awareness of my reading life. (A lot of people prefer goodreads – it is probably a better site – but I enjoy the shelf graphics on shelfari and I’m used to it). The thing that surprised me the most was the fact that I read so many books simultaneously. I wasn’t actually aware of the fact that I tend to have a dozen books on the go. Right now it’s 13 books. Most of the books have a “home” in my apartment and I only read those books when I am in that place. I have a pile of books that I read in bed before going to sleep (one children’s book, a spiritual book, several non-fiction books), a book that I read with breakfast (always a book with a spiritual focus), and a pile of books I read in the living room. There are also a couple of books that rotate locations. I tend to have 1 novel  in progress (though right now it’s drama rather than fiction) and a book of short stories which is ongoing (I often take it with me to the laundromat) and more nonfiction books – always at least one on creativity or art. And sometimes, poetry, of course. Because I am in the process of reading so many books at once, most of them get read very slowly. I love this. I might read 1 page or 3 pages a day of a book. The fact that I eventually finish reading the book is wonderful and reminds me of what can be accomplished with tiny daily actions. And because I read certain books so slowly, I live with them much longer. The books become a part of my life, and the authors’ thoughts and writing styles live with me for months and months as I slowly make my way through these worlds of writing. How grateful I am for the abundance of books in my life….

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2 thoughts on “on reading a book slowly…

  1. JB says:

    Slo-reading… like slo-food? Interesting topic. Do you find that reading more slowly makes it seem like there’s more to read in the world, or less time to read other things?

    Thanks for this slant on reading.

    • I don’t really think in my case it’s like “slo-food” at all because there isn’t much that is “simple” (simple in the sense of simplicity) about reading 13 books at the same time. It might seem kind of crazy to other people. I actually don’t read the words slowly either. Maybe slow reading isn’t the right expression – more like reading in small increments? It still feels like there is a lot to read in the world (which is a good thing) – it allows me to experience more diversity in my reading all at once! I don’t have to “delay gratification” and wait until I’ve finished “the book” I’m reading to start another. When I want to start another, I just start another and it joins the group of books that I am in the process of reading. But I do feel with 13 I’m near the limit of the number of books I feel comfortable reading “at once”.

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