Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Winter Reading Challenge

Two years ago, in a frenzy of good intentions, I listed 10 goals on my Winter Reading Challenge sheet. Big mistake! This year I have one, simple reading resolution: Slow down!  I’m currently reading Slow Reading in a Hurried Age by David Mikics, distinguished faculty member at the University of Houston. Slow Reading is a guidebook that lists 14 rules to better reading and includes tips on how to read short stories, novels, poetry, and plays. It's addressed to people who love books and want to get the most out of reading them. I’m only on page 39—remember, I’m trying to read slowly—but, so far, I’m hooked.

Mikics's prose is accessible and his message timely. “It’s easy," he writes, "to fill the day (when you’re not working, doing chores, or talking to friends, family, and coworkers) by surfing the Internet, skimming the headlines of news stories, and checking e-mail—not to mention television and video games."  This online grazing, he asserts, is not real reading. "Scanning an e-mail or a text message is fundamentally different from the activity of reading. . . . Reading is a craft, a practice." Slow Reading in a Hurried Age offers a concrete program to help people tune out digital distractions and become better readers. You can listen to Mikics talk about his book on WNYC.

Stop by the reference desk in Teen & Adult Services, on the second floor, to sign up for the Library's 2015 Winter Reading Challenge and receive a free book!

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