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