In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed

In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Carl Honore

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Format: Paperback | 321 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 198mm x 25mm | 249g
  • Publication date: 6 September 2005
  • Publication City/Country: San Francisco, CA
  • ISBN 10: 0060750510
  • ISBN 13: 9780060750510
  • Edition: Annotated
  • Edition statement: annotated edition
  • Sales rank: 34,061

Product description

We live in the age of speed. 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 a breaking point. Consider these facts: Americans on average spend seventy-two minutes of every day behind the wheel of a car, a typical business executive now loses sixty-eight hours a year to being put on hold, and American adults currently devote on average a mere half hour per week to making love.Living on the edge of exhaustion, we are constantly reminded by our bodies and minds that the pace of life is spinning out of control. In Praise of Slowness traces the history of our increasingly breathless relationship with time and tackles the consequences of living in this accelerated culture of our own creation. Why are we always in such a rush? What is the cure for time sickness? Is it possible, or even desirable, to slow down? Realizing the price we pay for unrelenting speed, people all over the world are reclaiming their time and slowing down the pace -- and living happier, healthier, and more productive lives as a result. A Slow revolution is taking place.Here you will find no Luddite calls to overthrow technology and seek a preindustrial utopia. This is a modern revolution, championed by cell-phone using, e-mailing lovers of sanity. The Slow philosophy can be summed up in a single word -- balance. People are discovering energy and efficiency where they may have been least expected -- in slowing down.In this engaging and entertaining exploration, award-winning journalist and rehabilitated speedaholic Carl Honore details our perennial love affair with efficiency and speed in a perfect blend of anecdotal reportage, history, and intellectual inquiry. In Praise of Slowness is the first comprehensive look at the worldwide Slow movements making their way into the mainstream -- in offices, factories, neighborhoods, kitchens, hospitals, concert halls, bedrooms, gyms, and schools. Defining a movement that is here to stay, this spirited manifesto will make you completely rethink your relationship with time.

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Customer reviews

By Jeridel Banks 15 May 2011 5

I knew nothing of the Slow movement. I simply knew little whispers hear and there-"Hey, did you know multi-tasking makes you less efficient?"-but I didn't think anything of it. Then, when my friend handed me Carl Honore's book, In Praise of Slowness, I dove into the movement with adamant.

Who knew being Slow was great? "In Praise of Slowness" is a guidebook to fighting the Fast culture, where everything is pre-packaged, pre-made, or pre-timed to make human life so stressful. Being Slow can make a person more effective, more creative, and less stressed. I started practicing this Slowness culture in deliberate ways. I've felt myself become calmer in most facets of my life, and I feel like my life is a little more peaceful.

It does takes some coaxing, but it's worth it in the end. As this book outlines, if people could learn that the Fast culture is the hair-pulling culture, the world could be a more meaningful and enjoyable place.

By Kylie Beach 29 Apr 2011 5

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 life...to be busy when I wanted to be and to be empowered to jump off life's treadmill when someone else was dictating a pace that I resented.

Make no mistake, this book packages up the message of the Slow Movement in a way that is accessible for us 'busy types' and leaves us with an inner-compass that helps us rediscover balance when we need to. I still live at a fast pace many days, but I feel like I have permission to have slow days too now. It is a book for anyone who has ever felt like the decision to be busy was made without them getting a choice and who has ever felt an inkling that there could be more to life than getting the tasks of the day crossed off the list.

Enjoy it, my friends... you will not regret the time taken to read this book.

Review quote

"A persuasive case against mindless speed and an intriguing array of ways 'to make the moment last.'"--Los Angeles Times Book Review

Flap copy

In the tradition of such trailblazing books as No Logo and The Tipping Point, In Praise of Slow heralds a growing international movement of people dedicated to slowing down the pace of our contemporary times and enjoying a richer, fuller life as a result. These days, almost everyone complains about the hectic pace of their lives. We live in a world where speed rules and everyone is under pressure to go faster. But when speed is king, anyone or anything that gets in our way, that slows us down, becomes an enemy. Thanks to speed, we are living in the age of rage. Carl Honore has discovered a movement that is quickly working its way into the mainstream. Groups of people are developing a recipe for living better in a fast-paced, modern environment by striving for a new balance between fast and slow. In an entertaining and hands-on investigation of this new movement, Honore takes us from a Tantric sex workshop in a trendy neighbourhood in London, England to Bra, Italy, the home of the Slow Food, Slow Cities and Slow Sex movements. He examines how we can continue to live productive lives by embracing the tenets of the slow movement. A challenging take on the cult of speed, as well as a corrective look at how we can approach our lives with new understanding, In Praise of Slow uncovers a movement whose time has come.