Slowing down is really hard

Image: Jilbert Ebrahimi

Why I’m sticking with the slow-paced book I’m reading

I’m in the middle of my annual summer of fiction. Instead of the usual mix of books I read to increase my knowledge or help me grow as a human, I’m only reading fiction for a couple of months. It forces me to switch off one part of my brain and engage another.

It’s not as easy as it sounds. There are already several books I’ve been tempted to start reading that would break my commitment to fiction only. (Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed is far too temptingly on offer at £1.99.)

I’ve found it hard too as the book I’m reading at the moment — My Beautiful Friend by Elena Ferrante — is a slow book. Not dull, not boring, but definitely no high-paced action thriller.

I was seriously thinking about giving up on the book and switching to The Night Manager by John le Carré, but when I stopped to think about it, I was reminded that there are benefits to reading a slower-paced book.

It’s much more of a reflective read. It dives deep into the relationships and the ‘action’ happens there rather than in the twists and turns of an intense crime novel or action thriller.

So much of my life is go, go, go. And even when resting, it’s easy for me to choose ‘resting’ activities that are also go, go, go. But reading this book is forcing me to slow down. My mind has to stop racing. And that feels healthy.

Simple pleasures

The healing power of nature