Is there any recreational pastime that suits the slow living lifestyle more than cozying up with a good book? Reading about slow living can inspire you to step back from the busyness that often clutters up our days and causes us to burn out. Because slowing down isn’t as much about the pace as it is the intentionality of our day-to-day.
So if there were ever the time to make yourself a cup of tea or draw yourself a bubble bath, these books are it.
In Praise of Slowness: Challenging The Cult of Speed by Carl Honoré
We have to kick off the list with what many consider the “bible” of slow living, In Praise of Slowness. In a culture obsessed with speed, the author, Carl Honoré, asks us to take a step back, from slower eating to unhurried thinking – and traces the leisurely history of the slow movement.
Seeking Slow: Reclaim Moments Of Calm In Your Day by Melanie Barnes
Being fully present and intentional with your time allows you to embrace the wholehearted moments that are right in front of you every day. Take time to consider what your slow moments are, whether that is heading outdoors for a walk with family, learning to meditate, taking up a new craft, reading a book or simply taking a long deep breath during a busy day.
How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell
Taylor is currently working her way through this one, so now’s the time to join her! Do you ever feel like you’re a member of the cult of efficiency? In a media and tech ecosystem simultaneously obsessed with digital detox and building personal brands, How to Do Nothing is a breath of fresh air, grounding readers in the complex, interdependent actual ecosystems of the physical world.
The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim
Written by Haemin Sunim, a Zen Buddhist teacher, writer and the founder of the School of Broken Hearts in Seoul, this book is a mindfulness guide that will help you connect the dots between your values and slow living. By offering actionable totems to wellbeing and happiness in eight areas, Haemin Sunim emphasizes the importance of forging a deeper connection with others and being compassionate and forgiving toward ourselves.
Destination Simple: Everyday Rituals For A Slower Life by Brooke McAlary
If you’re someone who thrives on action items and routine, you’ll love this book by Brooke McAlary. It’s all about teaching you how to incorporate daily rituals into your days that slowly, and over time, allow you to transform your life. It’s a quick read, so take it in slowly.
Slowness by Milan Kundera
Milan Kundera is the author of one of my top five favorite books, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, but this book is a whole different ballgame. This is more an impressionistic, stream-of-consciousness book. His writing is so mellifluous. The book is also a meditation on speed, technology and slowness, and how these shape our experience of the world, other people and ourselves. Kundera suggests that slowness opens the way to wisdom, memory, sensuality and humanity. A slower world, he seems to be saying, would be a better place. For anyone wanting to delve into the metaphysical underpinnings of the slow revolution, this is the perfect primer.
Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything by James Gleick
This book feels like a scientific cataloguing of all the manifestations of our fast culture. How long people are prepared to wait on hold on a phone before they hang up, or for the doors to close in elevators, etc. It’s these everyday, minute happenings that we don’t even realize we’re rushing. The book itself is a bit breathless, and consolidates feelings that everything is speeding up and it’s our responsibility to slow it down.
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