11 Feb 2015

Slow Reading

From New Zealand Society, 3:30 pm on 11 February 2015

Slow Reading Club photography Pauline LevequeSlow-Reading-Club, photography Pauline Leveque.

“I always thought of reading as a bit of an indulgence. You sort of think, there’s so much other stuff I should be doing…”

Meg Williams, Co-founder of The Slow Reading Club is now relishing an enjoyment of books again.

Having been an avid reader, one day she came to the realisation that she hadn’t picked up a book for a very long time. “It’s become a universal problem,” she says. Meg attributes a lack of reading to an increasingly busy lifestyle, with the consumption of digital technology and social media being a constant source of disruption and interruption.  

Getting back into books and starting a Slow Reading club was her way to reconnect with a love of reading; get some quiet time away from ringing phones and the temptation of the internet; but also, to connect with others who were finding themselves in the same situation.

The sessions are held every Sunday at The Library Bar in central Wellington, and the meetings take up to 20 people a week, which is as much as the room can cater for. It’s a chance to sit back, get a drink and read for an hour. Phones need to be switched off, but E-readers are welcome.  

Although the club has been running for less than a year, Meg is surprised by how popular the concept has become. Since its inception, the club has quickly gained momentum and become something of a movement with Slow Reading clubs popping up all over the world; Canada, Asia, USA and the UK as a result of an interview that was published in The Wall Street Journal, last year.

Meg and her husband are taking things one step at a time, with messages coming in daily from avid slow readers.

“Lots of people want to get back into reading and getting books back into their lives. It was really great when I went back to the UK recently, and to think there’s a slow reading club in Notting Hill of all places,” she laughs. “It’s great to be a part of that!”  

Sonia Sly went along to turn some pages.

Slow Reading Club Motto:

- Calm Body-free yourself of digital disruption and simply focus on the act of reading

- Curious Mind-enjoy the stimulation that reading brings, improve your spelling and expand your vocabulary.

- Open Heart – go on a journey with a character and experience their thoughts and perspectives.

To find out the top ten tips for Slow Reading head to the Slow Reading Club Website.