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

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  23 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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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
Emma Sea
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
Frank Spencer
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
You might expect that this was 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 story
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
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
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
Julieann Wielga
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
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
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!
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
Diana Pettis
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.
Sep 22, 2014 MiChAeLPaUl marked it as fini
Shelves: books, non-fiction
The process of reading slow can provide a more rewarding experience than reading for speed.

Elgin Park Library
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".
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
Thomas Newkirk offers reflections on how reading habits have changed and outlines practices to recover savoring the written word. Thoroughly engaging and thought-provoking.
Edward Sullivan
Great arguments for more deliberate, thoughtful, and reflective approaches to teaching reading and writing.
Solid read but not overly exciting. A great reminder for all who teach reading.
Fast is not always better. A thought-provoking read!
Jessie marked it as to-read
Mar 12, 2015
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Manuel Deniz
Manuel Deniz marked it as to-read
Mar 08, 2015
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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)” 7 likes
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