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Slow Reading in a Hurried Age Hardcover – October 8, 2013
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(Bryce Christensen Booklist (starred review) 2013-09-15)
Mikics writes accessibly and with infectious enthusiasm on an impressively eclectic range of classic and contemporary texts. The reader who picks up this volume will likely already have been won over to Mikics's argument, but the book's pedagogical value for students is considerable.
(Publishers Weekly 2013-08-05)
There is nothing else like Slow Reading in a Hurried Age. Mikics's fourteen rules are quite wonderful, and I will in teaching adopt them myself. (Harold Bloom)
There is much solid wisdom and penetrating advice in these pages. David Mikics is an inspired teacher, and he has brought his rich pedagogic imagination to life in this book, which teaches us to fall in love again with great literature. The examples are wonderfully apt and wide-ranging. (Phillip Lopate, Hofstra University)
It may seem counterintuitive to read a book on slow reading in order to help you read more efficiently. But that's exactly what you stand to gain by (slowly) reading...Mikics' wise, common-sense guide to getting the most out of real reading--totally immersive reading...I can't recommend this book highly enough.
(West Australian 2013-10-08)
Mikics insists that we are not in a world of declining reading, but quite the opposite. People are inundated with words that they feel compelled to read--in email, in tweets, in posts to social networking sites, in text messages--so much so that they can barely keep up. So we read fast and carelessly and we prize brevity at the expense of substance, a habit that is making all of us increasingly unable to concentrate on what is directly in front of us, constantly distracted as we are by pop-ups, embedded links, and the whole range of digital items that make constant demands on our time and attention...The choice of materials is eclectic but one of the finest achievements of the volume is how compellingly, but undogmatically, it makes the case for a literary canon, one not born of professorial or other fiat but of merit...The greatest strength of the volume is that in modeling slow reading of exemplary works of literature, it fosters exactly the qualities that such reading requires: sustained attention, attentiveness to detail, a willingness and ability to accommodate a gradually building realization of the significance of a given work.
(James Williams PopMatters 2013-10-07)
A step-by-step guide to reading books amid the rushing world of an information-obsessed era. The book guides the reader through what amounts to a sort of extended independent study with a very approachable and patient professor. (Ian Stansel Ploughshares online 2013-10-28)
This addition to the growing store of literary how-to books opens with the stuff of countless essays and op-ed pieces: too much information, not enough concentration, it is time to slow down. All this functions as a preamble to advice about what to do after the smartphone is turned off: read more patiently and thereby rescue interior depth from the decentering storm of digital text. So although it serves as an introduction to practical criticism, it is also a work of moral improvement, primarily aimed not at students, the captive goal-oriented audience with teachers to please, but at adults with demanding, other-directed lives that hem in the room for contemplation. David Mikics’ relaxed point that we like to identify with characters in novels puts it plainly: reading is done self to self. (Owen Richardson Sydney Morning Herald 2013-11-30)
The problem [Mikics] addresses is very real, the rules he proposes make sense, and he is a perceptive reader…Expect a run on this book; it should prove popular in English classes at all levels, from high school and up. (David Keymer Library Journal (starred review) 2013-12-15)
Beautifully and unabashedly edifying…Mikics is up to something more than just technical instruction. What separates Slow Reading in a Hurried Age from other popular or academic how‐to guides is Mikics’s urgent reverence for literature, which he wants to impress upon the reader. To read well, he clearly believes, is not just to master a skill; it is to become a certain kind of person…Mikics, in calm, authoritative prose, lays out the case that the way we read now is in many cases the enemy of reading as it is supposed to be…Slow Reading in a Hurried Age is a guide to becoming a great reader. This is a very hard thing to teach: so much of what happens when we read is internal and instinctive, and it is hard to transform reactions into rules. But Mikics manages to do exactly that… The gift of Mikics’s book at the right moment could lead to a lifetime of good, slow reading. (Adam Kirsch Barnes & Noble Review 2013-12-10)
[Mikics] prizes the kind of ‘slow reading’ that allows us to appreciate the rhythms and voices and atmosphere of a book, to take it apart as one might a clock, in order to figure out how it works. (Joanna Scott The Nation 2015-07-30)
Top Customer Reviews
As a solution he proposes fourteen rules that facilitate reading slowly: being patient, asking the right questions, identifying the voice, getting the sense of the style, noticing beginnings and endings, identifying signposts, using the dictionary, tracking keywords, finding the author’s basic thought, being suspicious, finding the parts, writing it down, exploring different paths and finding another book, with several paragraphs explaining each one.Read more ›
In his famous essay on reading Francis Bacon told us that some books are to be devoured and others 'chewed and digested'. He pointed out that different subjects and different tasks require different kinds of reading.
This book focuses on the promoting of truly deep reading, of attention- filled, slow long term reading. And it rightly argues that this kind of reading can give a level of insight and understanding that no other reading can. It points out such deep reading opens new worlds, acquaints us with wider range of people and experience than we can know in our ordinary lives. It points again to the pure pleasure Reading can give.
It is a most timely call to swing the pendulum back a bit in the direction of doing one thing in a real way at once, rather than doing so many things in a superficial way through much broken time.
I am sure most readers will gain from this book insight and renewed sense of the importance of slow reading-even if most of the readers of this book will be the ones who already know this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Slow Reading is very similar to Mortimer Adler's "How to Read a Book". It contains many high school/college level examples. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Joan A Cable
An excellent book on how to maximize your knowledge, your enjoyment and your skills at reading short stories, novels,, essays, plays, essays and poems. Beautifully written. Mr. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Randy Ades
You'll learn how to read novels, short stories, poetry etc. in another way, on a deeper level. You'll enjoy reading so much more!
It has become my guidebook for reading books. Read more