Writing Inspiration

read this aloud

I’m not sure what difference it’ll make to a blog post, but apparently the effects of reading stories (and even poems) aloud is huge.

Most people’s first experience with reading aloud would be as kids: being read bedtime stories, or learning how to sound out words. This article says that even as adults, having someone read to you can give you warm fuzzies and take you back to your childhood.

I love being read to. There’s something about listening to people’s voices, their inflections on different words, the way they use dialogue, that makes a story or poem really come off the page and into life.

That being said, I hate reading aloud altogether. The linked article says that

In an era of social networking and electronic gadgetry… we have neglected the pleasures of direct experience.

So we’re too wrapped up in modernity to appreciate the oral tradition of storytelling? I don’t think it has to do with technology. I think we’re just lazy.

If we’re going to sit down and read to ourselves or even someone else, we don’t want to read a whole novel. Our mouths get dry and our jaws get tired and in the end it’s not as enjoyable as just doing it in your head.

It’s easy to read kids stories aloud, most of them are only a few pages long. I was asked by my nephew to read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to him last year, and sure, it started out fun. Then it got long.

See, if the story or poem is short enough, reading aloud to someone can be cool. It’s when chapters drag on and those chapters lead to more chapters that it becomes impractical.

Solution? Audio books. You can fuse the old with the new and get the best of both worlds (if that’s what you’re into): the warm snuggly feeling of being read to and the stamina of listening for hours on end.

And you might even get some voice that’s as nice to listen to as Mr. Attenborough or Mr. Freeman. Unlike the audio cassettte of The Secret Garden I had when I was a kid: that guy was scary.


4 thoughts on “read this aloud

  1. I prefer to be the reader rather than the listener but, of course, we need both 🙂
    I think reading aloud my blog post would sort out a few typos before I put them out there instead of having them glare back at me afterwards 😦

    • I know what you mean! And somehow I always find the typos when I read the work on paper… Doesn’t really help when you’ve already printed and are about to submit something!

    • Good point Maggie, especially with dialogue. Hearing someone else read your work is good for that too, because you can see where they stumble or where it doesn’t work properly. As the writer, we understand our own work and what we mean, but it’s always helpful to see from a fresh pair of eyes (or ears!).

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