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The Art of Slow Reading: Six Time-Honored Practices for Engagement

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  122 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
"Tom Newkirk's call to appreciate the value of slow reading is both timely and important, especially in an era where skimming and click-and-go reading have become the norm for our students. Newkirk reminds us that our deepest reading pleasures are often found when we slow down and pay close attention, and this book clearly demonstrates how slow reading deepens the thinking ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published November 4th 2011 by Heinemann Educational Books
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Dec 29, 2011 Ken rated it it was amazing
You might expect that this would be "Luddite-ish," but not really. In fact, toward the end of the book, Thomas Newkirk defends the younger generation and opines that dismissing the social changes brought about by all of their techno-treats is counterproductive.

Still, he adds, "As Deborah Brandt has wisely argued in her book Literacy in American Lives, the social change rarely involves the wholesale discarding of older skills; rather the process is additive. The student who creates a digital sto
Emma Sea
Apr 29, 2013 Emma Sea rated it liked it
This was a bit more about the pedagogy of reading than I was expecting, but I still found it a rewarding book.

My knowledge of the classics is truly dismal, so imagine how delighted I was to find that in the very first century CE Quintilian expressly addressed the issue of purple prose in m/m fanfics written by teen girls:

"Let that age be daring, invent much, and delight in what it invents, though it be often not sufficiently severe and correct. The remedy for exuberance is easy: barrenness is in
The Art of Slow Reading by Thomas Newkirk contained, for me, one of these experiences we all have...when there is an idea skirting the edge of your consciousness, teasing you, staying just out of your reach. And suddenly there it is, in print! Dear God, what a relief! Someone put it into words. I fall a little in love with writers who can meet me at the edge of my thinking and take me a manageable distance along that same path. Tom Newkirk did this for me when he wrote about "the generative way ...more
Frank Spencer
May 29, 2012 Frank Spencer rated it it was amazing
I hope that it doesn't invalidate my thoughts that I read this in under a 24 hour elapsed time, while also reading half of The Great Gatsby and sleeping. This is also the first book that I read on the Nook Study app. The author sees reading as a constructive process; John Dewey is referenced often. The Six Practices are each given a chapter. They are adding aspects of performance and oral reading to silent reading, memorizing some passages from reading material, centering (e.g. reading actively ...more
There are many things I appreciate about this book -- and some things I'm not so sure about. He talks about how even silent reading is auditory. I think it depends on your learning modalities. I do NOT 'hear' myself read, even when I slow down to read more deliberately...but that's about the only place I deviate from his message.

Slow, deliberate, real reading. Why are we all about speed? Why are reading tests timed? How does that cripple our kids? And what could we be doing instead?

Newkirk gives
Gary Anderson
May 22, 2016 Gary Anderson rated it really liked it
If a composer imagines and then notates a musical work, we can easily consider that creator to be an artist. Similarly, if a musician decodes and performs that work expressively, that musician is also an artist. The same relationship exists between choreographer and dancer. But does the analogy extend to writers and readers? If a literary artist puts work down on a page, is it possible for the reader to approach it artfully? In The Art of Slow Reading, Thomas Newkirk unequivocally argues in the ...more
Dec 23, 2014 Kim rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly appreciated the differentiation the author makes between 'researched based' vs 'time-honored' practices and defaults to the latter. As is easy to see in Education...truly new practices are few and far between rather what has worked is repeatedly repackaged. Callahan calls the overloading of curriculum, adding without subtracting,the "cult of efficiency", I'm guilty of being an adherent and wish to now abstain. No more do I want to surf reading material anymore than I want to surf th ...more
Sep 18, 2012 Jade rated it really liked it
This book is a treasure for those who love to read (or don't quite yet), and may find themselves reading books as something to just get done. I've had an unhealthy habit of skimming everything, and reading this book helped me to realize why I read in the first place, and has encouraged me to slow down and enjoy my books.

It is philosophical: the author supports an approach to reading as an interaction between the reader and author, that the text is not just something that contains meaning one mus
Julieann Wielga
Jul 25, 2012 Julieann Wielga rated it really liked it
page 16-19
So I just loved it when Thomas Newkirk proposed that fluency included “auditorizing” and awkward word which he coins to mean creating an internal sense of the sound of the language, developing an inner ear for the way writing is told- that the literate person derives pleasure from finding this appropriate tempo of reading. He says sometimes to be more fluent, one slows down.....

page 197
We read for pleasure and meaning-and to do so, we must be able to control the tempo of our reading. a
Jul 26, 2014 Dominic rated it really liked it
Shelves: teaching
It took awhile for me to get into this book. For the first 60 pages it was slow reading indeed! Newkirk's style in this teaching text is much more languid, more anecdotal and tangential, and while there are many 5 star ideas embedded throughout, I never quite got into the rhythms of his structure.

That said, there are some important information here, along the lines of his more focused predecessor, Holding On to Good Ideas in the Time of Bad Ones. When the book gets most practical, it is at its m
Dec 04, 2011 Glenda rated it it was amazing
Superb argument for reading in a more deliberate manner. Newkirk offers excellent teaching ideas and traces the history of annotating back to Erasmus. When I showed my students FDR's first draft of the "Day That Will Live in Infamy" speech, they finally understood why glossing one's paper leads to better rewriting. A complete lesson for using the FDR draft is in Slow Reading.
I'm a slow reader so appreciate an argument against speed reading. I like to take my time and notice not just what an auth
Newkirk's purpose for writing this book - to encourage more slow and deliberate reading in schools and in life - is a master class in both reading and in writing. He makes his case with quotes, personal experience, humor, and research. Newkirk is certainly not anti-technology. Instead, he promotes more mindfulness in our literacy endeavors. It is a much-needed message in our overly connected world.
Mrs. Hall
Aug 28, 2013 Mrs. Hall rated it liked it
The Art of Slow Reading was a lot heavier on reading pedagogy than I expected, but Newkirk's message was clear. In a culture full of distractions we should not be afraid to slow our reading down, take our time, and enjoy the words so we can hear the authors voice "this is not a race, take your time. Pay attention. Touch the words and tell me how they touch you".
Jun 30, 2014 Ms.Kim rated it it was amazing
Not sure why I never added this book, but I read it right before meeting the author in person :) I appreciated this book, for bringing me back to the pure enjoyment of reading. So much of the reading we engage in, and require of students, is reading under pressure! Anyway, a great book. This and Holding On to Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones...both excellent reads!
Mar 18, 2012 Leena rated it really liked it
One of the most amazing books I've ever read-- totally opens your perspective to a whole new way of taking in literature.
I am actually taking a class with Newkirk this semester, he's great. I would totally recommend this book!!!
Jul 17, 2012 Lauren rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
I have a hard time enjoying a book about reading that isn't, itself, a pleasure to read. This is pseudo-philosophy, pseudo-literary criticism, pseudo-pedagogy. Better writers have written far better books on this topic. Not worth the time it took to read it.
May 05, 2012 Thomas rated it really liked it
Shelves: literacy
An interesting read with many useful examples in the call to slow down, appreciate, and engage with texts. On occasion, Newkirk attempts to link writing practices with reading approaches and struggles to get back to his main point.
Nov 22, 2011 jmjester rated it it was amazing
Thoughtful and thought-provoking, Newkirk builds on the arguments he shared in Holding onto Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones. He continues to push my thinking and teaching.
Sep 12, 2014 MiChAeLPaUl marked it as fini
Shelves: non-fiction, books
The process of reading slow can provide a more rewarding experience than reading for speed.

Diana Pettis
Jan 26, 2014 Diana Pettis rated it it was amazing
Thank you Cindy Fitzgerald for recommending. I just finished reading this and can't wait to have my book group at school. A must read in my opinion for teachers.
Edward Sullivan
Great arguments for more deliberate, thoughtful, and reflective approaches to teaching reading and writing.
Full of great ideas!
Sep 09, 2013 Stacey rated it liked it
Solid read but not overly exciting. A great reminder for all who teach reading.
Jun 08, 2012 Nan rated it really liked it
Thomas Newkirk offers reflections on how reading habits have changed and outlines practices to recover savoring the written word. Thoroughly engaging and thought-provoking.
Sep 02, 2013 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Fast is not always better. A thought-provoking read!
Kevin English
Feb 08, 2014 Kevin English rated it it was amazing
Newkirk never disappoints me. As a newer teacher, I used to think of myself as challenging tradition. This book challenged that, as it gets to the heart, the tradition, of why and how we truly read.
Nymphadora Remus
Nymphadora Remus rated it really liked it
Nov 12, 2013
Lindsay rated it it was amazing
Oct 25, 2014
Brian rated it it was amazing
Feb 27, 2012
Haley Keller
Haley Keller rated it it was amazing
Aug 13, 2016
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“We can learn to pay attention, concentrate, devote ourselves to authors. We can slow down so we can hear the voice of texts, feel the movement of sentences, experience the pleasure of words--and own passages that speak to us. (p. 41)” 9 likes
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