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The Art of Slow Reading: Six Time-Honored Practices for Engagement

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0325037318
ISBN-10: 0325037310
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thomas Newkirk's most recent books with Heinemann are The Art of Slow Reading (2011), Holding Onto Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones (2009) and Teaching the Neglected "R" (2007, coedited with Richard Kent). His Misreading Masculinity (2004) was cited by Instructor Magazine as one of the most significant books for teachers in the past decade. A former teacher of at-risk high school students in Boston, Tom is Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire, the former director of its freshman English program, and the director and founder of its New Hampshire Literacy Institutes. He has studied literacy learning at a variety of educational levels - from preschool to college. His other Heinemann and Boynton/Cook titles include the NCTE David H. Russell Award winning Performance of Self in Student Writing (Boynton/Cook, 1997), Taking Stock: The Writing Process Movement in the 90s (Boynton/Cook, 1994, coedited with Lad Tobin), and Nuts & Bolts: A Practical Guide to Teaching College Composition (Boynton/Cook, 1993). In addition, Tom is coeditor (with Penny Kittle) of Children Want to Write, which is a collection of Donald Graves' most significant writings paired with recovered videotapes that illuminate his research and his inspiring work with children and teachers, and coeditor (with Lisa Miller) of The Essential Don Murray, which gathers the most important insights about writing and teaching writing from "America's Greatest Writing Teacher." Thomas Newkirk has been named the 2010 recipient of the Gary Lindberg Award for his outstanding contributions as a faculty member of the University of New Hampshire. Read the Award Announcement »

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 12
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann (November 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0325037310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0325037318
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By nedd on January 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
I think the title (The Art of Slow Reading) was chosen to first and foremost attract those who identify as slow readers. When I would show this book to friends and family, they often took the title too literally and would read it back to me in that deep slow motion drone, kind of laughing, like the concept was elementary. The word SLOW could be replaced with: enjoying, deep, engaged, or falling in love with.
Growing up I was always the last kid in class to finish the reading assignment. It still takes me an hour to read as little as 10 pages of certain books. Not because I have trouble reading the words or understating the vocab, I just daydream (or digress) a lot when I read. In the past I always viewed my reading speed as a problem, even a disability. I would get extremely frustrated, which exacerbated the issue. After reading TAOSR, I now look at my speed in an entirely different way.
Newkirk writes, "To write in a direct, linear fashion is to be oblivious to the distractive possibilities and pleasures of living, it is to go about in blinders. It is to be without 'spirit'. Reading can also embody this digressive spirit and merge into writing . The text can activate digression, meditation, reflection."
Did you hear that?? Digressions are pleasurable. Digressions are meditations. Instead of letting digressions frustrate me, I enjoy them and feel more in control of them.
This book is filled with sentences and sections that you could digress about for hours. It is amazing how Newkirk was able to weave various experiences, excerpts, and pieces of great knowledge into one coherent message. I felt like I had just taken a mini literature course when I finished.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ken C. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You might expect a book called THE ART OF SLOW READING to "lean Luddite," so to speak, but not really. In fact, toward the end of his book, Tom Newkirk defends the younger generation and opines that dismissing the social changes brought about by all of their techno-treats is more counterproductive than not.

By then, his point has been made -- he's not out to condemn our fast-moving times so much as to argue for the baby (the value of slow reading) in the bathwater. Why, then, are some in a hurry to throw it all out as if its day is done? Newkirk writes: "As Deborah Brandt has wisely argued in her book LITERACY IN AMERICAN LIVES...social change rarely involves the wholesale discarding of older skills; rather the process is additive. The student who creates a digital story must learn new skills involving the integration of music, narration, visuals; she must explore visual means of transition. But she also must tell a story, using detail, dialogue; she must create characters, conflict -- skills as old as storytelling itself."

Thus the need for salvaging some of these tried and true practices. Newkirk divides these by chapter: Reading Goes Silent (Performing); Learning by Heart (Memorizing); Making a Mark (Centering); The Pleasures of Difficulty (Problem Finding); A Writer's Choice (Reading Like a Writer); and Opening a Text (Elaborating). Some of these chapters are stronger than others, especially if "strength" be judged through the addition of practical ideas for the classroom. That is, like his last book HOLDING ON TO GOOD IDEAS IN A TIME OF BAD ONES, this text dwells more in theory than practical ideas, though ideas are here to be found as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marsha on January 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love this author- he never disappoints. Great book for those trying to understand the benefits to reading slower yet deeper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ed Leas on January 14, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agreed with most that was written. I have struggled at times with slow reading, but I comprehend what I read. The pressure in this era is to speed up everything with technology & especially the internet. We are going to have to teach the younger generation when speed is appropriate & when it isn't.
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