The Lost Joy of Reading Aloud

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When was the last time you read aloud? For writers, this might be one’s own manuscript, to help with flow and pace. Or at a public reading. But when was the last time you read someone else’s book out loud to your friends or family for fun?

We live so much of our lives through the screens – computers, tablets, phones, television.

Before television, people gathered around the radio.

Before that, people went out to lectures and concerts and theatres.

And read out loud to each other.

Have you ever done so?

If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat.

Some evening, be it inside by the fire, or outside on the deck, pick a book you all want to read. Start reading out loud. One person can read. Or the book can be passed around, chapter by chapter, or scene by scene.

Let the natural rhythm of the book’s language and characters take you over. Don’t try to force anything. Experience it. Flow with the beauty of the language and the characters’ cadences.

It’s a completely different experience than an audio book, which is polished and professional.

The reader’s experience layers onto the writer’s voice. It’s like a chorus, a synergy, unlike any other experience. It deepens the impact of the book. It transports both reader and listener.

If you’ve never tried it, I urge you to do so. If you haven’t read out loud for a long time – I encourage you to start again.

Read aloud. Reconnect with that special joy.

What Are Your Favorite Books and Why?

I’m going to put together a series of posts on favorite books. Books you go back and re-read, time and time again. Or a book you recently read that made you so excited, you know you WILL read them time and time again.

If you’re interested in writing a short post about a favorite book (not one you wrote, by the way), please drop a note in the comments or get in touch with me via email.

If you’re interested in reading about a specific book, also drop a note in the comments, and I’ll see what I can do about it!