Trend Alert: the Slow Read
Today I was editing for a client, and I came upon a tip that tripped me up. The more I worked, the more emotions came bubbling to the surface—I tried to make the blog post accurate while simultaneously feeling that it went against every fiber of my being.
Sure, controversies abound in our culture today. But the one I speak of is: fast reading.
Gasp! Yes, as you can see, I wade right into the hard-hitting issues of our times. But hear me out. This is my life's work, so I have some feelings on it.
I get it—we have no time. Or we've simply trained our brains to move on, move quickly. This blog post won't be long because you have not the attention span to read it, just as I have not the attention span to craft it. But if you are willing to take a beat and give the right author more than a skimming glance, you could be surprised by the way every word affects you.
I read slowly—and I'm OK with that.
Have you ever soaked in a pool of adjectival phrases, dripping with delicious delight? Have you bounded up a stairway of stacked action verbs, leading you to new conclusions? Have you gasped in the grip of poignant prose—sharp, snarky, and staggering?
Full disclosure: I write words with painstaking deliberation, and it is my secret hope that you will pore over every one as you read, just as I pored over their particular placement on the page. While I know this is an ideal that only my parents and my husband (maybe?) will attain to, it's my pipe dream nonetheless.
Well-crafted words have power. Ancient poets agree: "A word fitly spoken" [or written] "is like apples of gold in a setting of silver" (Proverbs 25:11). I'm not sure the market rate for precious metals shaped like fruit, but this seems valuable?
We remember verbal barbs aimed to maim us. We feel the surge when powerful lyrics sway our beings in song. We quote hilarious quips from our favorite films. Politicians debate year after year, reinterpreting words the founding fathers scribed on ancient documents to beget a nation.
Someone took the time to create all these memorable words, for good or for ill. The words upon your screen could hold just as compelling hidden gems if you search for them. The trick is finding the authors who are worthy—writers to whom you will lend your precious time.
Like a hipster embracing old school items and making them trendy again, I advocate for the slow read. Join me in reading every word.