I’m going to tag along with Elizabeth’s post, because her venture homeschooling and reading with her children reminded me of when my two were very young.
Some of the best memories I have of my children growing up involve our discovery of books; or rather, my joy as I rediscovered many of my favorites with them. Before they were old enough to dive into the books on their own, I read aloud to them. There’s a lot to be said for reading aloud. You can do the accents, make your voice pitch high or low, depending on the character. You learn the time to make a dramatic pause, and when exactly to stop reading for the day so the kids are ready next time. You get to experience the book together.
One of the other benefits of reading aloud is the imagination can take over instead of a newer reader trying to figure out the words on the page. The early readers might struggle with reading an “older book” for themselves, but they’re not too young to learn to listen to the pages and let their imaginations sprout.
However, when we took road trips, books on tape–and eventually CD–became our traveling companions. We traveled back and forth from Narnia as our car headed back and forth from the beach, to Tennessee and then to Colorado. In the heydey of the Left Behind saga, we listened to some of those titles too.
It’s a shame, really, that there aren’t more audiobooks in the world. While they’re not written words on printed (or digital) pages, the sound files can also transport us, especially with a good narrator that knows how to do all the voices just right.
We writers are told about the importance of reading our work aloud as we go, because the ear can pick up what the eye has missed. Maybe that’s because reading aloud reminds us about what it is to be storytellers, not just storywriters.
Is there a particular book you loved hearing read aloud, or one you wish they’d record? How many of us still read aloud to our children?
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Lynette Sowell writes fiction for the inspirational market, from contemporary romance to mysteries. She’s always looking for the perfect recipe for a story–or a great dish–and is always up for a Texas road trip. You can listen in to the Flashlight Reader on Monday nights here.