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In Praise of Slowness: How A Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  3,176 Ratings  ·  463 Reviews
We live in the age of speed. The world around us moves faster than ever before. We strain to be more efficient, to cram more into each minute, each hour, each day. Since the Industrial Revolution shifted the world into high gear, the cult of speed has pushed us to abreaking point. Consider these facts: Americans spend 40 percent less time with their children than they did ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 13th 2004 by HarperOne
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Ian "Marvin" Graye
Speed Reading

I read this book quickly. It dealt with the most important issues very efficiently. It was a good use of my time.

Therein lies the issue, or more precisely why I can only give it four, not five, stars.

The book originated in a series of articles Carl Honore wrote for the “National Post”.

It’s well-researched, well thought out, well structured, tells a good story, makes good use of relevant quotations, it’s never boring (though once I’d worked all of this out, I was glad when the end wa
Jul 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book a lot, although ironically, I did get slightly impatient towards the end. Some chapters had a few too many examples of the main point. Otherwise, it is certainly a worthy read! It is about how time-obsessed our culture has become and how we choose quality for quantity in far too many activities.

One question I felt was left unanswered is this: What do we sacrifice when we slow down? It is abundantly clear what we gain. But what are the opportunity costs? Obviously the trade-o
Oct 17, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about someone else smart ideas about fighting the crazy pace of life.When I started reading this book I was really excited since I have been pondering on this topic for a while. The book is a set of articles, written as a classic school essays: introduction, them development, conclusion. And just as empty. By the end of the first chapter(almost 40 pages) I learned nothing new. By the end of the second chapter I was mostly bored and the only thing I learned was that I am not the on ...more
Sep 22, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stopped-reading
I stopped reading this one because if I have to hear the story of "Slow Food" one more time I may scream.

Sure, slow food is a great concept, but I hoped for more out of this book. I'm not interested in reading about 'movements' in a way that's trying to get me involved in them. I'm interested in reading about concepts that make me think harder about life.

I thought this book was going to be lots of the latter with little of the former, but it was just the opposite. So, about 1/4 of the way throug
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I learned about this book from the goodreads Green Group, and Bill McKibben gave it this blurb: "Try reading this book one chapter a day--it is worth allowing this subversive message to sink slowly in so it has a chance of changing your life."

I've learned that the Slow Movement has its own website:

And the author of the book, Carl Honoré, has a TED talk from 2005:

And his own website:

The book is an im
Mar 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition





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Goodness, the goodness of this book's happened to me by Slowly Reading.

Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ironically this book was way to fast. Ideas and thoughts and examples sped across the page, the author barely touched on one facet before he sped off to the next. There was no meat to the discussion.

I was about a third of the way through the book and still felt like I was reading the introduction. You know the part where ideas are presented to be expounded on as the book progresses, except I was a third of the way through the book and it was clear that this was how the book was going to continu
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some pieces of writing are so well written that their content doesn't seem to matter much. Style may not be substance; fortunately, form, as any academic can tell you, is content. Great writing is sometimes about nothing at all.

In Praise of Slow[ness], on the other hand, is arrestingly bad. The idea that we live in a culture that values velocity should be obvious even to the most inept of observers, and it takes no great genius to react against these pressures. But Carl Honoré is apparently blin
Scott Seaborn
Oct 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
A more appropriate title for this book could be "In Praise of Tedium: Challenging the Cult of Staying Awake." The author had a great premise: We're rushing through life and killing ourselves in the process. Unfortunately, he bored the hell out of me.

The author tries to legitimize the 'Slow Movement" argument by distancing himself from New Age gurus and mystics. Unfortunately, he plays it *too* safe and offers up a very bland recipe for living Slow:

+ Don't rely on the microwave; cook your meals,
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Though I totally endorse the main idea promoted by this book - that slowing down, or more precisely finding the right pace of doing things, may be very beneficial for just about any aspect of one's life (or at least that's my personal experience), it's so poorly written I had to force myself to finish it. The substance of it could fit to at most 20 pages, the rest is just pad full of presumably persuasive personal stories of few dozens of people. Unfortunately, these stories seem to be the autho ...more
Anna Dalhaimer Bartkowski
Nov 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Need encouragement to stress less and relax more? Check out the book, In Praise of Slowness, how a worldwide movement is challenging the cult of speed by Carl Honoré. You gain nutritional benefits and reduce stress all in one easy step. Food made with love is healthier. I realize this sounds simplistic, and it truly is. Often we make life more difficult than it is. Honore recognizes it and offers real life solutions. His Web site,, counters the allure the ...more
Timofey Peters
Nov 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Книга не понравилась. КПЧ (коэффициент полезного чтения) ~1%, остальное вода: пространные заметки автора как он катался по миру, брал интервью у людей, начавших практиковать «замедление», и их восторженные отзывы в стиле «ах, как всё вдруг стало прекрасно, денег стало в сто раз больше, друзья стали «более лучше» дружить, секс стал великолепным, пищеварение замечательным, отношения с миром гармоничными и прекрасными».

Резюме: попробовать не гнать по жизни «быстрей, быстрей» определенно стоит, нер
Spirited Stardust
Sep 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
With regards to this book it is more about the advised philosophy than the strength of the writing. I picked this up because I was interested in the Slow Movement. One of my favourite subjects was that of time, the opening subject, which started off well with the following paragraph - What is the very first thing you do in the morning? Draw the curtains? Roll over to snuggle with your partner or pillow? Spring out of bed and do ten push ups to get the blood pumping? No, the first thing you do, t ...more
Jun 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Therese by: book club selection

This book was chosen by my book club, and once again I'm glad to have read a book I never would have chosen before.

I think most people know that we are living our lives out of control due to the fact that most people are speeding through life without really living. I was "forced" to slow down after an automobile injuries left me paralyzed, but that made me hurry to find different ways of keeping up. Still I have adapted a Slow lifestyle long ago without even realizing it, and I know I am mu
Carolyn Gerk
There are not many among us who can say that he or she does not need to slow down. We could all use a bit more downtime, a bit less high pressure on the go time. The idea of reading this book about taking time for ourselves, about movements around the world in favour of slowing down our lives in order to get more out of our time here, seemed like a great idea.
By the times I was in the last half of the book I found myself so tired of repetitive prose and useless anecdotal evidence that I tended
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two years after I first read this, I can still say with as much passion as ever that this is one of the most life-changing books I have ever read. I expected it to be about 'how to live slowly' and to leave me feeling guilty and discontent as I raced through my busy life of work and family and kids. Far from that, In Praise of Slow inspired me to take control of the pace of my be busy when I wanted to be and to be empowered to jump off life's treadmill when someone else was dictating a ...more
Jeff Sullivan
This book is an interesting survey of a growing movement to decelerate the pace of modern life and promote a Slower cultural mindset. Written in a journalistic style, there is a wealth of anecdotes on everything from Slow education to Slow food. Ironically, the rapid rate of technological change over the decade since this book was written means that its treatment of the topic already feels inadequate: consider that ten years ago there was no Facebook, no Twitter, no iPhone, etc... If anything, t ...more
Aug 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the main point of this book, which, as the title makes clear, is about the need for humans to slow down and enjoy life.

The problem I had with the book is that throughout, the whole thing feels dated. Not only in his specific examples of technology (this was published before the iphone, for example), but in his general conviction that this is a "worldwide movement," which it may be, but I've never seen it outside this particular book.

Each chapter is devoted to one facet of human existen
May 30, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This looked really promising, a nice read on slowing down and enjoying life a little more. Each chapter deals with slowing down one aspect of life, i.e. cooking, work, medicine (doctors), or leisure, etc. It had a few practical application ideas, but seemed to mostly be full of grand, sweeping statements like "All over the world, people are embracing the idea of Slow Food." (Or education, or whatever.) "Everywhere, from the western metropolises to eastern gardens, people are realizing the benefi ...more
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paused, office
ini buku bagus sekali. inspiring bagi saya.
bagaimana tidak, ia membongkar supremasi 'speed' sebagaimana paham modernisme bekerja dalam masyarakat masa kini. speed dan accuracy sering dianggap sebagai kemuliaan dalam peradaban modern. namun yang jarang diungkap adalah ekses atau akibat-akibat buruk darinya.
dimulai dari situ, buku ini memaparkan kurban-kurban yang berjatuhan karena memuja kecepatan.

sekali pun ini inspiring, ternyata ini bukan buku pertama yang menggugat paham kecepatan. sudah ada
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"At the gate, I join the back end of a long lineup, where there is nothing to do except, well, nothing."
"My whole life has turned into an exercise in hurry, in packing more and more into every hour."
"These days, the whole world is time-sick. We all belong to the same cult of speed."
". . . Japan, where the locals have a word--karoshi--that means 'death by overwork.'"
"Overwork is a health hazard in other ways, too. It leaves less time and energy for exercise, and makes us more likely
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Expounded on a slow philosophy that I inherently believe in. A lot of this seemed like common sense, but I liked the examples of slow living - who knew there were so many associations dedicated to this stuff... Slow Food, Slow Sex, SuperSlow exercise, Slow Design, Slow Research, etc. Also important that Slowness isn't just doing everything slowly - you don't have to walk or talk slower - it's just picking and choosing what to appreciate. like always, it's a search for balance. ahhh balance, easy ...more
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il aurait eu 5 étoiles si ce n'avait été de la traduction parfois pénible qui agace la lectrice. J'ai beaucoup aimé l'éventail des sujets couverts, la recherche derrière et les nombreuses idées qui donnent envie de ralentir pour le mieux. Un must, à mon avis!
Sep 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the one hand, I can understand that some actions/processes in Nature (including ours) are intrinsically slow due to the time scale involved in the sub-processes (say, the time from planting a seed to when the tree starts bearing fruits) compared to some others which are faster (plucking the fruits and eating them). Hastening an action/process involves making the time scales smaller than the corresponding 'natural' time scale. This is usually done to improve the efficiency (say, more number of ...more
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was probably one of the best self-help type books I've actually ever read from cover to cover...a good introduction and a great resource list at the end besides the facts, interviews, examples, and encouraging conclusions in between. I think that even the calmest person could relate to some of Homore's examples of our obsession with speed and saving time.

The idea that being in nature gives us time to think and that communities are planning the urban landscapes to encourage people to drive
Juliet Wilson
We live in a society that seems to be constantly accelerating, people rush through life. Recently however the Slow Movement has gained momentum (if that doesn't seem a contradiction in terms!). Based largely in Italy, the Slow Movement advocates for a slower approach to all aspects of life, from food to human relationships.

In this book, Carl Honore, a self confessed speed addict, explores the nature of this movement. Chapter by chapter he looks at a different element of the movement and also con
Marc Geffen
Oct 07, 2009 rated it liked it
The cultural normalization of measuring success by the acquisition of material rewards and attempting to "have it all" causes us to live our lives at a bewilderingly fast pace. These days it's become so normal to frantically juggle career, family, friendships and personal interests, that we often fail to have time to appreciate the very things we have worked so hard (and fast) for.

This is the premise of In Praise of Slowness, which advocates living a richer, fuller life by slowing down, at least
Wesley Gade
Reads a bit too much like a college paper. It is lengthy for the sake of length in some sections and has much too much self justifications and anecdotal support. Felt like the kid in debate class who who defending a point he drew by chance.

The book does help one take a step back and reevaluate as well as take a deep breath and I'm not sure what he could have done differently without turning it into a self-help/how-to book, but alas it was a dry academic read. There were a few sections towards th
Margaret Heller
I saw this on a friend's blog, got it from the library the next day, and finished it two days after that. This was sort of the point of the book--leave room for fun and don't worry about getting everything done all the time.

The journalism in here was occasionally a bit lacking, particularly in the CAM chapter. I felt like there was a lot of anecdote passing as fact. That said, it was interesting to see the ways in which people are choosing to slow down aspects of their lives, and where we've com
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: simple-life
I guess I was hoping for a book that would woo me with slowness. Instead I felt like I got a strong dose in tedium. The authors slogs along through various aspects of what he calls the Slow Movement (slow food, slow sex, etc.) and gives anecdotes from his own life, but he doesn't really invite the reader to breathe deeply and find the pace and tempo of her own being.

After a bit, I finally skimmed toward the end and stopped to read (slowly) the conclusion: Finding the Tempo Giusto. I was hoping,
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The Question is... 4 41 May 03, 2013 05:30PM  
  • How to Be Idle
  • Slow Food: The Case for Taste (Arts and Traditions of the Table)
  • Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich
  • The Simple Living Guide
  • Slow is Beautiful: New Visions of Community, Leisure and Joie de Vivre
  • Slowing Down to the Speed of Life: How To Create A More Peaceful, Simpler Life From the Inside Out
  • Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution
  • New: Understanding Our Need for Novelty and Change
  • Radical Simplicity
  • The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline Of Leisure
  • The Moment of Clarity: Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Toughest Business Problems
  • The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age
  • Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
  • Enough: Breaking Free from the World of More
  • Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating
  • Women's Anatomy Of Arousal: Secret Maps To Buried Pleasure
  • Zen Habits - Handbook for Life
  • Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic
Carl Honoré was born in Scotland, but grew up in Edmonton, Canada. After studying history and Italian at Edinburgh University, he worked with street children in Brazil. This later inspired him to take up journalism and, since 1991, he has written from all over Europe and South America, spending three years in Buenos Aires along the way. His work has appeared in publications on both sides of the At ...more
More about Carl Honoré...
“The best thing about knitting is its slowness," says Murphy. "It is so slow that we see the beauty inherent in every tiny act that makes up a sweater. So slow that we know the project is not going to get finished today--it may not get finished for many months or longer--and that allows us to make our peace with the unresolved nature of life. We slow down as we knit.” 12 likes
“Spending more time with friends and family costs nothing. Nor does walking, cooking, meditating, making love, reading or eating dinner at the table instead of in front of the television. Simply resisting the urge to hurry is free.” 10 likes
More quotes…