Tuesday, February 15, 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. Italians take it very seriously (except when it comes to driving!) as the Slow Food, Slow Cities and Slow Sex movements all have their centres in Italy. By 2003, 28 Italian cities were officially designated Slow Cities with another 26 working towards certification.

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, which though set largely in Italy also visits the US, UK and Japan among other countries).

I live my own life at a relatively slow pace, I work part time and enjoy walking, reading and crafting, all typically slow pastimes. I found this book interesting in tracing the devlopment 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 over all 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 orange contains hyperlinks that take you to websites where you can find out more

for the Italy in Books Reading Challenge


Anonymous said...

Interesting. I will look for it.

Scribacchina said...

While I don't agree with some trends in the Slow Movement, I do like the basic ideas. I had never heard of this book, but it sounds interesting!

Patricia said...

I have been an advocate of the Slow Movement and enjoy the various websites for slow food and slow travel. I think I would enjoy reading this book. It is true, that in Italy...they do take the time to savor life!