The Benefits of Slow Reading

From an article in the Wall Street Journal on September 16, "Read Slowly to Benefit Your Brain and Cut Stress", by Jeanne Whalen:
Once a week, members of a Wellington, New Zealand, book club arrive at a cafe, grab a drink and shut off their cellphones. Then they sink into cozy chairs and read in silence for an hour.

The point of the club isn't to talk about literature, but to get away from pinging electronic devices and read, uninterrupted. The group calls itself the Slow Reading Club, and it is at the forefront of a movement populated by frazzled book lovers who miss old-school reading.

Slow reading advocates seek a return to the focused reading habits of years gone by, before Google, smartphones and social media started fracturing our time and attention spans. Many of its advocates say they embraced the concept after realizing they couldn't make it through a book anymore.


Jules Aimé said...

I've noticed that my attention span for reading has gone way down. Sometimes, I have to read out loud to maintain interest.

I wonder if we are also in danger of losing our ability to think linearly as well.

Brett said...

Jules, I hope not! I think that reading exercises our imagination in ways that watching a screen cannot.

Irene said...

Good tips on why reading is so important. It really reduces my stress and makes me think and process information differently

Steerforth said...

I can read easily on my tablet, as I haven't linked it to any social networks and don't feel tempted to check for any updates. I think that's the trick. The moment a device starts pinging and vibrating with every tweet, Facebnook update and email, it all goes horribly wrong.

Brett said...

Irene, I agree. I believe that reading good writing helps me think and communicate more easily and more effectively.

Steerforth, didn't you have a Kindle at one point? You don't mind the backlit screen on your tablet? Apparently it bothers some readers, but not others.

After using a PC almost all day at work, it's a nice change for me to open a book for reading at night. My Sony Reader is all right, but a little less comfortable to hold.