February 07, 2016

SLOW READING


Yes, you see right: Slow reading is a trend now. You may know Slow Food or Slow Fashion ... but the Slow Movement has a new baby called "Slow Reading". Actually there are two new babies: "Slow Reading" and "Slow Journalism".
As every trend has it´s antitrend it was just a matter of time that the speediness of our time provoces an antipode. The Slow Movement has its origin in Carlo Petrini´s protest against the opening of a McDonalds restaurant near the Piazza di Spagna in Rom 1986. This kicked off the slow food movement. Carl Honoré picked up this idea for his bestseller "In Praise of Slowness" and so the vision of "deceleration" spread into other areas such as fashion, lifestyle and now into reading and journalism. 
It sounds ridiculous that there is a need for "less speed" in reading, isn´t it? But Honoré got the idea for his book when he detected "The One-Minute Bedtime Story" at an airport bookshop. First he was attracted by the concept of a "Bedtime quicky" but then he thought twice. A "One-Minute-Bedtime-Story" - what does this tell us about the reader - Mum or Dad? Do they really want to spend just one minute with their kid before they go to sleep? Just one minute? Leads us to other questions such as: How much time do we spend overall talking to our kids and reading stories. How much time do we spend for reading for others and even for ourself? Do we have to rush all the time - even when it comes to storytelling and reading? 
Hectic rush everywhere. Looks like this is the brutal reality. We want to read faster. Stories today have to be easy to understand, highly visual and handsome for smartphones and tablets. Snackable content to be scanned everytime and everywhere. On top of this there are new tools such as speed-reading Apps like Spritz!. 

So yes, we are in a rush: even for reading and storytelling.

And that´s where "Slow Reading" and "Slow Journalism" come into play. The Slow Reading Movement invites everyone to calm down, grab a book (print or ebook) and spend several hours to read. Just read. They invite people to join Slow Reading Parties in coffee- and book shops for: reading. So Smartphones off. No disruption for some hours and all concentration on: the story.

"Slow Journalism" not so much about reception of a story, it´s more about the production of a story. As journalists have to cope with the speedness of Twitter and Co. there is less and less time for substantive factqueck, deep research and not time for different story angles. New media outlets such as The Delayed Gratification Magazin stem against the ultra-fast news cycle and postulate a different kind of jouralism. A journalism that needs time, research and deep analysis. And they look after stories long after others has already lost interest. To detect what really happend. They take their time. 

So even you don´t want to join a "movement" now. You might be inspired by their ideas: Next weekend grab a book. Shut off your smartphone. Find a calm place, where you feel safe and comportable and read for several hours. Or grab a newspaper and magazin. Online or offline. Don´t just scan the headlines. Take your time and read it - from beginning to end. The journalist who has written it deserves that you read his full work.