The Slow Book Revolution: Creating a New Culture of Reading on College Campuses and Beyond (Meagan Lacy, Editor) is a collection of articles about encouraging college students to thoughtfully read complete works of literature and nonfiction. The book has three sections: Reasons to go Slow, Promoting the Slow Book Movement in the Academic Library, and Beyond the Academic Library: A Lifetime of Slow Books. Of particular interest to me is the section on “Reasons to go Slow” because it fits in with our literacy initiative on our campus. I like the way the authors in this section take into account all the types of reading college students do every day such as emails, texts, tweets, etc. I also like the way the authors discuss the need for all of us to just slow down and read thoughtfully, to read and cherish words, and to take time to make images in our heads. In other words, I like the part about readers enjoying what they are reading.
Slowing down and reading is a luxury in a fast-paced world. Since reading a book slowly and for enjoyment might seem a little out of reach for some already overwhelmed students, many institutions are sponsoring Common Read programs. Common Read programs provide a venue for students to talk about books in a non-threatening environment. In addition, many programs provide books to students free of charge. Book Clubs have a long history of providing a home for discussions in a social setting, so the Common Read programs make it just a little easier for students to engage with others about something they have read thoughtfully. In addition, reading something in common is also a way to give readers a feeling of “belonging.”
As a consequence of reading The Slow Book Revolution, I am looking for some books to delve into over the summer. While I always have a book I am reading, I do not necessarily always read in the manner described in Slow Book. I encourage all of us to pick a book or two and take the advice from the contributors to The Slow Book Revolution. Happy Reading.