I’ve always maintained that what makes books special is how they allow us a particular engagement with time. They force us to slow things down. Now, Maura Kelly in the Atlantic is calling for a slow books movement, mirroring the slow food manifesto:
In our leisure moments, whenever we have down time, we should turn to literature—to works that took some time to write and will take some time to read, but will also stay with us longer than anything else. They’ll help us unwind better than any electronic device—and they’ll pleasurably sharpen our minds and identities, too.
And we’ve moved beyond thinking that we need ink on paper for this… (yay!)
The Slow Books movement won’t stand opposed to technology on purely nostalgic or aesthetic grounds. (Kindles et al make books likeWar and Peace less heavy, not less substantive, and also ensure you’ll never lose your place.)