When I find a good book, it's hard for me to take it slowly.
I usually lap it up as fast as I can, thinking about it during the day when I should be paying attention to something else and staying up all night to finish it when I get the chance. I'm only a couple dozen pages into Henri Nouwen's "Sabbatical Journey" and I know it is going to be one of the best (most influential, encouraging, resonating, exhortative, moving, surprising, enjoyable, go-back-to) books I have read.
What's amazing is I'm reading nice and slow. I read it a page or at the most four per day, a day or two at a time (it's his journal, written day by day through his sabbatical year break from his regular workful life, and last year of life). As I read, with about every other sentence, I think of various of you, my friends. I keep stopping myself from buying copies and sending them out, in part because by grace I know I can be more "miss" than "hit" when it comes to recommending books. Plus, I'm not done yet and it might turn out to be a stinker after he gets a little farther into his sabbatical. It could happen.
Also, there is the little business of it might be the right book at the right time for me (and my sabbatical journey, although as far as I know it won't last a year and I'm not planning on dying at the end and I think I might be working harder than he did on his; in this it-could-just-be-me vein, I am the one who found reading "The Year of Magical Thinking" as quickly as I could, staying up all night to finish it, just two months after my dad died actually helpful, not "too soon").
So I decided just to mention it here. If you'd like to taste a book that, through intimate and somewhat random reflections on a life-break, illuminates writing, belief, prayer, patience, solitude, purpose, friendship, tiredness, commitment, imperfection, and some other stuff, then maybe check it out.
I got my copy for $2 at Half Price Books. But, I'd go up to the $15 Amazon's asking. . . so far.