Monday, March 24, 2008

What I'm Reading: In Praise of Slowness

book cover - In Praise of Slowness

After watching Carl Honore's excellent talk on slowing down in a world built for speed, I knew I wanted to read his book.

I've just begun In Praise of Slowness (titled In Praise of Slow outside of the U.S.) and I'm enjoying it a lot. I love a nice turn of phrase, and was delighted to see him write about "today, when all the world is a store, and all the men and women merely shoppers." Here's a longer quote I'd like to share:
As well as glittering careers, we want to take art courses, work out at the gym, read the newspaper and every book on the bestseller list, eat out with friends, go clubbing, play sports, watch hours of television, listen to music, spend time with the family, buy all the newest fashions and gadgets, go to the cinema, enjoy intimacy ... with our partners, holiday in far-flung locations and maybe even do some meaningful volunteer work. ...

My own life fits the pattern. Children are a lot of work, and the only way to survive parenthood is to downsize your diary. But I find this hard. I want to have it all. So instead of cutting back on my hobbies I contrive to squeeze them into a schedule that is already bursting at the seams.
The chapter I'm reading right now explores the Slow Food movement. Coincidentally, today I had a lovely leisurely lunch with muralist Ellen Joseph, and got reminded again just how delightful that is, and how reinvigorated I feel afterwards.

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