6.09.2006

Review: In Praise of Slowness



In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honore

Several members of our staff had recommended this book to me, and even suggested I make it the book discussion title for this month. I took them up on their offer, and finally sat down to read this book that has been hard to find on our shelves.

What a fantastic read.

Honore's writing is crisp and thoughtful, and I found myself so drawn into his observations and words, that it was hard to only read a chapter or two at a time so I could absorb and reflect on them. Honore's entire work is about the "slow" movement that is taking root around the world. In a society where we are scheduled to the minute, can't put down our Blackberries, and rush through a meal to get back to work, millions of people are embracing a "slow" approach to life.

Wow, did I need to read this book at this point in my life.

Honore explores slow food, work, sex, medicine, leisure and child-rearing. As someone who works in a public library that has seen a decrease in program attendance, the "children" chapter resonated with me. People can't come into the library to pick up books, read, attend a storytime or come to a program because they, and their CHILDREN, are over-scheduled. Between sports, school, tutors, classes, lessons and more, children are exhausted without ever getting to just play. They don't have time to just explore or be kids - they are too busy being superchildren to their parents, and not always enjoying it.

This whole book is fantastic, and filled with lots of "food for thought". I've even found myself, in the few weeks since I finished this book, trying to find the "slowness" in life - and loving it.

I heartily and highly recommend this title to everyone, and can't wait to discuss it with my book discussion group. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did!

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