In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed

In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed

by Carl Honore


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In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honore

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 Honoré 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060750510
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/06/2005
Series: Plus Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 467,075
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Carl Honore is an award-winning journalist and author whose revolutionary first book, In Praise of Slowness, was an international bestseller and has been published in more than thirty languages. Honoré is a highly sought after lecturer who speaks around the world on slow living and the Slow Movement, and his work has appeared in publications including The Economist, Observer, The Guardian, The Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, TIME magazine, and National Post. Honore lives in London with his wife and their two children.

What People are Saying About This

Gary Erickson

“Taking the time to read this may be the best decision an entrepreneur, manager, or anyone working full time, can make.”

John de Graaf

“Take the time to read this important, excellently written book — our future depends on the ideas it contains!”

Bill McKibben

“It is worth allowing its subversive message to sink slowly in so it has a chance of changing your life.”

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In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book after watching his great TED Talk one day. I had high hopes for it but truly the book makes it out to be that "Fast" living is a rich person's problem. Being part of a much lower class who cannot afford alternate therapies, retreats, classes, homeopaths and 4 hour dinners in Italy, it didn't resonate with me at all. I figured out through this book though that I already live a life that apparently even the author would envy, mostly just by being poor. I guess it's a silver lining to know that if I were rich I would be having these issues and I'm not!
hydeph on LibraryThing 2 days ago
This book is really just one example after another of some individual taking one aspect of his or her life and slowing it down. It does also talk about a number of "movements" promoting a change of pace. I think that it would have been more effective in another form, possibly more concise. After a while I grew tired of reading example upon example of the seemingly wondrous effects of Slow. The title is fitting because it is a one-sided presentation of a slower pace. There are maybe 2 or 3 things that I took away from this book, the rest of it didn't really stick.
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meraud More than 1 year ago
welcomes you to a calmer point of view of life. how restful your journey thru it could be. Inspired me to pay more attention to the things i do/eat. by doing so i have found more enjoyment in life and can laugh more.
Alpha_Dragon More than 1 year ago
Finally, a book to challenge the speed freaks, habitual microwave users and people who prefer to read cliff notes! Carl Honore writes an excellent book that makes a persuasive argument that the best way to enjoy and maintain a healthy lifestyle is to find time to slow down. While he does not advocate chucking the speed baby out with the bathwater, he does stress that one should find time to slow down and enjoy life so when people are on the fast track they are constructive instead of burnt out. He does his best to outline ways that you can slow down without taking extra time out. He makes a persuasive argument against speeding while driving, for slow workouts and taking the stairs whenever feasible. He does not stop at the easy changes, and advocates much more in depth lifestyle changes for those who can manage it, from slow cooking to moving into a slow neighborhood/city. Overall, there is something that just about anyone who wants to slow down should be able to use and start on the road to constructive easy living.