Lately, I’ve begun to think of this as the touchstone of a quiet revolution, an idea as insurrectionary, in its own sense, as those of Thomas Paine. Reading, after all, is an act of resistance in a landscape of distraction, a matter of engagement in a society that seems to want nothing more than for us to disengage. It connects us at the deepest levels; it is slow, rather than fast. That is its beauty and its challenge: in a culture of instant information, it requires us to pace ourselves. What does it mean, this notion of slow reading? Most fundamentally, it returns us to a reckoning with time. In the midst of a book, we have no choice but to be patient, to take each thing in its moment, to let the narrative prevail. Even more, we are reminded of all we need to savor — this instant, this scene, this line. We regain the world by withdrawing from it just a little, by stepping back from the noise, the tumult, to discover our reflections in another mind. As we do, we join a broader conversation, by which we both transcend ourselves and are enlarged…. It is in this way that reading becomes an act of meditation, with all of meditation’s attendant difficulty and grace. I sit down. I try to make a place for silence. It’s harder than it used to be, but still, I read.
— David L. Ulin, The Lost Art of Reading, p. 150-151