Tuesday, 15 February 2011

In Praise of Slow by Carl Honore

We live in a society that seems to be constantly accelerating, people rush through life. Recently however the Slow Movement has gained momentum (if that doesn't seem a contradiction in terms!). Based largely in Italy, the Slow Movement advocates for a slower approach to all aspects of life, from food to human relationships.

In this book, Carl Honore, a self confessed speed addict, explores the nature of this movement. Chapter by chapter he looks at a different element of the movement and also considers the nature of Slowness in general. He outlines ways in which we can all slow down and emphasizes that the idea is not to go back to pre-industrial times but to find a balance, such that we know when to take things slowly (as in savouring our food, making time for our families etc) and when speed is useful (as I'm sure Honore found as he flew round the world to research this book).

I live my own life at a relatively slow pace, I work part time and enjoy walking in the countrside, reading and crafting, all typically slow pastimes. As an environmentalist, I find that adopting a slow approach to life, makes me more appreciative of nature, more aware of the impact my lifestyle has on the environment and more able to reduce the impact I have on the environment.

I found this book interesting in tracing the development of the Slow Movement, but I did find that the chapters were all quite similar in their format and this became a bit dull towards the end. However overall I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to slow down their life at all.

In Praise of Slow by Carl Honore, published by Orion

As ever the text in red contains hyperlinks that take you to websites where you can find out more.

I also posted a slightly different review of this book for the Italy in Books Reading Challenge on my Over 40 Shades blog, you can read it here.

7 comments:

Kathiesbirds said...

I can so agree with these ideas and I try to incorporate this into my life but like everyone else I often find myself rushing to get things done. Sounds like an interesting book if anyone will slow down long enough to read it!

ruthie said...

Juliet, this sounds a book so many more folks could do with reading. I agree with the idea of "slow". Just 3 years ago i made myself a promise to learn to slow down. I was amazed at the changes that occured. I began to notice the little things again, my eyes learnt to see again, my ears to hear. My senses were sharpened. It has been an amazing journey & whenever i feel life beginning to speed up, i take adeep breath & remember. That is the very reason my blog is called 5 precious things. I wish more folk were able to do this. Have a grand week. x ruthie

Glo said...

A thought provoking topic and link. Since retiring from the work force, I definitely can relate to how much better "slow" feels. For me it's been a time of disconnecting from the business of feeling like being at the beck and call of others to reconnecting with the peacefulness of 'being' within my own inner self.

gabriellebryden said...

Had to laugh at the Slow movement gaining momentum! I agree with you that slow is good (I live a pretty slow life - it wasn't always like that) - why are people in such a hurry to move to the end of their life. Thanks for telling us about the book.

JoMo said...

I've heard of this book but haven't read it. I completely agree with the sentiment having chosen slow as well. Thanks for the review!
Cheers,
Jo

Jade said...

Hi Juliet, I've also heard of this book but haven't read it. Inspired by your post, today I will take time to slow down and enjoy my senses and what surrounds me. :-)

Deb G said...

He did a TED talk...I suppose that would be the "fast" way of getting his point. :)