31 January 2008

The Rising Price of Slow

Beware, poppets. The slow-foodists are expanding into home decor.

Any complaint I have with this is the same as my little complaints about the Slow Food movement -- it takes things that are good and desirable (like home-cooked meals of healthful, rational foodstuffs) out of the hands of the unwashed masses. The difference with the home decor variation is that expensive pieces of furntiure and what-all being lovingly handmade by craftsperson out of local materials have always been around and too expensive for peasants like me. The only thing that's really changing is that there's a lifestyle label to which the painstaking craftspeople can attach themselves. Or at least a new lifestyle label, trendier at the moment than any of the older labels are.

So, really, I shrug. Any new bookshelves that come into my house will still likely come from IKEA, because your lovingly handcrafted ones made of salvaged wood from falling-down farmhouses in Yoknapatawpha County (and not those of other counties, lest the soul of those farmhouses be lost or corrupted by such miscegenation) are still out of my price range.

Besides, you want slow? Sit down with an allen wrench and the parts of a Billy bookcase. There's a whole afternoon worth of slow for you.

Speaking of slow (yet worthwhile), if you haven't checked out Daily Lit yet, you might want to. Books delivered into your inbox or rss reader, on a schedule of your choosing, in bite-sized portions. They have both classics and newer books, some free, some bought but for less than you'd spend on the hardback. At the pace of one installment every weekday, it will take me something like a year to read all of Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters (and longer yet to read all of The Pickwick Papers), but I can summon up the next installment instantly if I choose and don't have to be bothered with a dedicated e-book reader. It's not quite as good as settling down in a favourite chair with a glass of a favourite beverage, but it's still pretty darn good.

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