When most adults think of reading aloud, they most often think of reading to young children which I highly recommend. It is the best way to create a lifelong adventure with books and to insure a great vocabulary. It also strengthens the bond between reader and child.

Reading aloud to each other as adults provides great enjoyment as well and provides a time of togetherness. I first discovered the beauty of oral reading as a student in Sara Lowrey’s interpretative reading classes at Furman University. Before that reading aloud in the elementary grades was more painful than rewarding. Many years later I had the great privilege of working with the readers of Christ Our King Catholic Church to help them improve in the oral reading of scripture. . Don’t misunderstand. You don’t need any training to enjoy reading aloud to each other. It’s just plain fun.

As Carol, my wife, inched into moderate Alzheimer’s disease, we began a routine of her reading aloud to me every day. Over the course of a year or so we went through a ton of books. Some were serious and many were humorous. She loved to laugh. We discovered some unfamiliar writers and revisited favorite ones. Slowly her understanding of what she was reading slipped away. Even so we kept our routine for as long as we could. She was a wonderful reader and this was one more effort on my part to keep her beautiful voice alive. We both enjoyed the time together. Carol could read anything and make even dull books sound interesting. Years earlier Liz, my first wife and mother of our children, read selections from The Wall Street Journal to me. She loved the writing in that publication and had several articles already earmarked for when I got home. It was an almost every night ritual. We had many great discussions about those articles. Liz loved words and their subtle nuances. It doesn’t really matter what you read as long as you both enjoy the experience. Being together is the best part.

If you are looking for something different to do and you have a partner who has seen all the reruns on television twice, try reading aloud to each other. Take turns selecting the books or magazine articles. Discuss what you have read. The memory of your togetherness will last.

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