US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Slow down there, readers

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I joined two book clubs this summer, so I've been doing a lot of reading--800 pages total last month--no skimming either. If I skip one word, my reading comprehension drops to zero, and I'm left re-reading the page. I've recently come to embrace that I'm a slow reader, and according to many people in a new movement, that's not a bad thing.

According to slow readers, the Internet has conditioned us to skim and have short attention spans, and that's affecting the way that we are reading books, both literature and academic writing.

In light of our survey on faithful reading habits, the idea of slow reading also made me wonder how our pace affects spiritual reading. Are we willing to sit with and absorb complex ideas in religious reading? I know that my already slow pace slows to a crawl when I pick up a book on spirituality and theology, but I think/hope I retain more too.

Slow reading has also benefited my recent marathons of fiction reading for my book clubs. When we discussed Still Alice (about a woman with early onset Alzheimer's-highly recommended), for instance, I could share with my group how I saw the characters' appreciation of life change in one scene. It was a spiritual, and very pro-life, moment that others had missed.

I have found books clubs to benefit my reading as well. A story means more when you discuss it.

We didn't ask about how fast you read in our survey, but I encourage you to share what you get out of reading spiritually. I'm looking forward to reading your list of recommendations.

My current book club reading list:
Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Housekeeping by Marilynn Robinson
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson (see a review)