Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they are written.

— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

I have always been a deliberate reader. When I stumbled across this quote while reading Walden so many years ago, it simply gave me permission to enjoy the pace at which I read. Good writing is more than just conveying ideas or recounting a story. Good writing creates a mood, and images, and evokes emotions — and these cannot be digested while speed reading.

One of my favorite writers is Pat Conroy, and my favorite book of his is Prince of Tides. When I read this poetic prose I am drawn in to the rich and colorful images Conroy is able to create. Every sentence feels like a sculpture carefully crafted.