There’s a lot of news and social media about coronavirus and people’s reactions and fears and scaremongering. This can seep into you without you really noticing and affect your thinking and your mood.
One of the ways I’m coping with this is through slow, intentional reading. When I get into bed, I read one chapter of a carefully chosen book. Just one chapter. However much I want to read more, I stick to just one.
The book I am reading slowly at the moment is Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. It is a book that really benefits from slow reading and a deeper attention. It is written poetically and thoughtfully and needs space and time to reach into you and wrap its ideas around your heart. Yes you could speed read it, but that would be to miss a key point, as well as many nuanced ideas and you wouldn’t embody the teachings in the same way.
Reading this way feels more meditative, more mindful and is a way of slowing down at the end of the day. It is a tonic to heal from the short, snappy headlines, and the streaming flow of tweets.
“If you want the deep experience of a book, if you want to internalise it, to mix an author’s ideas with your own and make it a more personal experience, you have to read it slowly”
– John Miedema, quoted in The Guardian
I also will not look at my phone or tablet whilst I read the chapter. I read these as books, not ebooks and because holding books for too long hurts my hands, that also helps to limit me.
Some books lend themselves more naturally to slow reading than others and for me, these books include:
- Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
- World Enough and Time by Christian McEwan
- The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey
- If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie
- The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life by Thomas Moore
These are the books that spring to mind, but when I think of others I will add them in the comments below. I would also love to hear from you – what are you reading at the moment? Are you reading anything that feels therapeutic or healing?