(30 Minutes of Uninterrupted Reading With a Book)
Slow reading advocates seek a return to the focused reading habits of years gone by, before Google, smartphones and social media started fracturing our time and attention spans.
Slow readers list numerous benefits to a regular reading habit, saying it improves their ability to concentrate, reduces stress levels and deepens their ability to think, listen and empathize. The movement echoes a resurgence in other old-fashioned, time-consuming pursuits that offset the ever-faster pace of life, such as cooking the “slow-food” way or knitting by hand… reading literary fiction helps people understand others’ mental states and beliefs, a crucial skill in building relationships. A piece of research published in Developmental Psychology in 1997 showed first-grade reading ability was closely linked to 11th grade academic achievements.
Yet reading habits have declined in recent years.
Screens have changed our reading patterns from the linear, left-to-right sequence of years past to a wild skimming and skipping pattern as we hunt for important words and information…None of this is good for our ability to comprehend deeply, scientists say. Reading text punctuated with links leads to weaker comprehension than reading plain text, several studies have shown.
Slow reading means a return to a continuous, linear pattern, in a quiet environment free of distractions. Advocates recommend setting aside at least 30 to 45 minutes in a comfortable chair far from cellphones and computers. Some suggest scheduling time like an exercise session. Many recommend taking occasional notes to deepen engagement with the text….
Maurice Sendak: Great advice from a great article.
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The cost of undergraduate education is 12 times higher than it was 35 years ago, far outpacing inflation. While the indexed price of college tuition and fees skyrocketed by more than 1,122 percent since 1978, the cost of medical care rose less than 600 percent, and the cost of housing and food went up less than 300.
Back in 1993, 47 percent of college students graduated with debt, owing an average of $9,450 per grad. As tuition rates have shot up, so has student debt: 71 percent of the class of 2012 graduated with outstanding loans, owing an average of $29,400. That’s more than 65 percent of the entire first-year salary of an average recent grad.
Student debt constrains young people’s ability to start a business, buy a home, or pursue a public-interest career.
"Wall Street banks—the ones that wrecked our economy—should not be getting a better interest rate on their government loans than young people trying to go to college."