Write on- Reading Aloud

Photograph of the authors desk, susan sheldon nolenReading aloud is such an intimate experience, especially when reading to some one else. Heads close together, breath held as an important scary passage is read aloud late at night. It is from reading aloud that we learn the small and yet beautiful nuances of language. It is the starting point to a lifelong venture into the world of books. We slow down when we read something we do not understand and then read it aloud so our brains can make sense of the words.

English: Reading Aloud, oil painting by Charle...

English: Reading Aloud, oil painting by Charles W. Bartlett, 1892 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When writing a novel or even any work of nonfiction, it’s a tool that cannot be overlooked and yet there is also a danger with it. For when we read aloud, we put our own inflections into the words. That is where the danger lies, for any piece of writing is a joint venture, you the writer write, and it is the reader that brings those words alive. But saying that, reading one’s work aloud allows us to find sentences that stumble along, have the wrong rhythm, or even make little sense. When we read out drafts aloud, we can find errors and change them. What marvelous times we live in, the computer can read our work to us, its monotone voice just perfect for reading the text and capturing little errors that the eye fails to notice.

Jurij Moskvitin (middle) acompaning Karen Blix...

Jurij Moskvitin (middle) acompaning Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen (right) meeting composer Igor Stravinskij (left) at the City Hall of Copenhagen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you have a favourite book to read aloud? One of my favourite openings has to be from Isak Dinesen‘s Out Of Africa…

“I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills…”

Those words when spoken aloud bring us right into the world and when read by Meryl Streep, I think…perfection.

What’s your favourite book to read aloud, or do you have a special memory of someone reading to you?

About susan sheldon

I am an explorer. It's taken me awhile to realise this. But I love capturing bits of our wonderful world with my camera, travelling through time and history, always returning to write, or paint what I've discovered. I use my Leica and my iPhone to capture images, and with those images I try to hold on to a feeling, a moment in our busy lives. Sometimes those moments bring me into the past, others into the studio to paint, or back to the old typewriter to try to use words to capture what the camera has done for me already. One of my goals in my blog is to have a space to take a breath away from our frantic world. I hope you enjoy your time here. It’s such a privilege to have readers.
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10 Responses to Write on- Reading Aloud

  1. Cameron says:

    I’m in the thick of the reading aloud years with my son, and we love our reading time. Right now, we’re making our way through the “How to Train Your Dragon” series, and we’ve plowed through the gentler Harry Potter stories more than once over.

    I still remember my Dad, who is not a pleasure reader for the most part, reading me Golden Book versions of Disney fairy tales, but with his own comic flair. He was “incapable” of reading them straight, and his “mistakes” made me laugh… I still giggle at “Smelly-rella” in particular.

  2. What Fabulous memories! I can’t remember any of my own…I wish…But I did read to my daughter hours on end. I love your dad’s Smelly Rella! What a precious memory!

  3. MTM and I used to read books aloud all the time. My favorite was “Undaunted Courage” by Stephen Ambrose. I also read a whole book aloud to him on our last long road trip.

  4. I read to my mother the last year of her life when she couldn’t read anymore. We read entire Cat Who mysteries by Lillian Jackson Braun. It was a great bonding experience.

  5. Pingback: Curl Up with a Good Book…and the One You Love | The Power of Love

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