Conjure up a picture in your mind of someone reading and chances are that person is sitting alone with a book in a chair or on a couch. Much of the time reading is a solitary pursuit, and that can be a good thing. We read for many reasons: to be intellectually challenged, to learn something new, to laugh, to be entertained, to be transported to other worlds . . . Sometimes that reason can also be to connect with someone else. That’s where reading aloud comes in. Reading aloud doesn’t have to be limited to moms and dads reading to their toddlers, preschoolers, and beginning readers. While reading aloud to young children is an important part of creating overall literacy, the pleasure of sharing the written word with someone important to you doesn’t have to age out. That means you can read aloud to your older child or teen, to your adult child or your spouse. Read aloud for the joy of sharing a story that you can then talk about.
You also don’t have to limit your reading to books. Just yesterday I read a magazine article aloud to my husband, and afterward we talked about pieces of the article we each particularly liked and what we found appealing about it. The idea is that reading aloud socializes and enriches a normally solitary pursuit. Today is World Read Aloud Day, an event created by LitWorld, a non-profit literacy organization that works to “foster resilience, hope, and joy through the power of story.” Why not settle down with someone you love, someone you like, or just someone you’d like to share a story with and spend a moment speaking words on a page out loud.