Featured Reviews, VOLUME 7

David Mikics – Slow Reading in a Hurried Age [Feature Review]

Page 3: David Mikics – Slow Reading

[ Read a summary of Mikics’s
14 Rules for Slow Reading
]

I can’t help but imagine what the effects would be if we strived to apply Mikics’s Slow Reading rules to our reading of scripture.  I suspect that our appreciation for the scriptural story and indeed our faith would be deepened by this sort of approach. In Rule #6, “Identify signposts,” Mikics examines the biblical story of Jacob and Rachel from Genesis 29. He concludes his reflection on this story with the observation: “The more one thinks about a single chapter of Genesis, the more slowly and patiently one muses on its implications, the deeper its connections will seem with what comes before and after” (105).  And, indeed this thought rings true for any single chapter of the biblical text, and even more so, I suspect, when we understand ourselves as part of this still-unfolding biblical story, and we are interwoven with the text of scripture.

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The final third of the book in which Mikics examines how his rules might be utilized in the reading of several genres of books is very helpful.  Because I am inclined to read more non-fiction and poetry, I found the chapters on essays and poems most helpful, but the chapters on short stories and novels did spark a desire in me to read more fiction.

Slow Reading done well, and especially in conjunction with other Slow practices, has the potential to radically transform our lives. David Mikics is to be commended for this book, and the robustness of the Slow Reading practice he has laid out here. We would do well to read, and re-read, it slowly and attentively, bearing in mind that the literary communities of authors and readers, are deeply interwoven with the real communities in which we daily live, work and have our being.

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C. Christopher Smith is editor of The Englewood Review of Books and co-author (with John Pattison) of the forthcoming book Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus (IVP/Praxis, Spring 2014).

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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com


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