In our neighbourhood there is a practice of leaving books and household articles at curbside, free for the picking. Some have turned this recycling practice into an art.
The other day, I stumbled upon a pile of books which amounted to an ingenious gag.
On top was a Signet paperback with bold colours and offering to guide the reader to Dynamic Speed Reading.
Under the speed inducing paperback was a hardcover edition of Carl Honoré In Praise of Slow with its yield sign shaped layout on the cover.
There is a quotation from Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature on the cover of the Honoré book that reads “Try reading this book one chapter a day — it is worth allowing its subversive message to sink in so it has a chance of changing your life.” Now I am not a radical believer that reading, slow or otherwise, can change your life (I am of the school that discourse (writing or talking) about what is read can, maybe, along with other actions, change the world). In any event, I found in my daily reading a passage in e.e. cumminngs that is intriguing for its word-slicing speed and its injunction not to hurry, intriguing because of its echo with the book stack gag — it requires some combination of both stopping to pay attention and some acceleration to browse quickly over the offerings to pull out the gems.
is always beau
The paradox being if the eye doesn’t hurry over the breaks no meaning emerges.
And so for day 1356