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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

July 29, 2010 - Slow Reading

By Scott Harrup

Malcolm Jones, in his article “Slow Notion” in the July 12 issue of Newsweek, takes a look at a habit often discouraged in education circles: “Slow reading has always gotten a bad rap. Slow readers in school were the bad students. No one ever got a blue ribbon or a good grade for plodding. So it comes as a surprise to find that the phrase at least comes with a distinguished pedigree.”

Jones goes on to note some of history’s proponents for slow reading and the resurgence of interest in the practice. He cites John Miedema, author of the book Slow Reading, who claims, “When you bring more of the person to bear on the book — or maybe more of the book to bear on a person in a sense — you develop a more intimate and rich relationship with the information that builds richer memories and a richer intelligence.”

Jones’ article caught my attention because I’m a slow reader. I love to read, but I’m one of those “read it out loud in your brain” kind of readers. I take my time visualizing every description, mentally enunciating every word traded in dialog and imagining the different accents and speech cadences a writer attributes to each character.

I’ve read my share of tips for speed-reading, and pretty much every one of my reading habits violates some speed-reading dictum. Although I did pick up one tool I use with some success when I need to read faster. Just moving my hand across the page along my line of sight probably bumps my speed up by a good 50 percent.

Any reader, even a speed-reader, will slow down over a favorite text. I doubt a treasured poem is ever read rapidly. Or Shakespeare, for the matter. Just the thought of a Hamlet soliloquy at warp speed has me imagining Alvin and the Chipmunks in tights and zipping out “To be or not to be, that is the question….”

The Bible is one Book I read deliberately, in every sense of the word. I never want to hear the Chipmunks in my head when contemplating the Twenty-Third Psalm, the Beatitudes or 1 Corinthians 13’s description of authentic love. Most importantly, as I read Scripture slowly, I take time to measure my life against its standard. Sometimes my understanding and application can be so slow the process feels almost glacial.

But there is no other book in whose pages I would so willingly trade some speed for Miedema’s “intimate and rich relationship with the information.” If ever there were a case where slow reading brings “more of the book to bear on a person,” it has to be God’s Word.

— Scott Harrup is managing editor of the Pentecostal Evangel and blogs at Out There (sharrup.agblogger.org).

 

 

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