What's Gained By Reading Aloud?

As a student, a lot of the reading I do is confined to the quiet atmosphere of libraries or victim to the dangers of a bed that is too comfy for...

As a student, a lot of the reading I do is confined to the quiet atmosphere of libraries or victim to the dangers of a bed that is too comfy for its own good.

Increasingly, I feel more connected to other readers through the web with websites like Goodreads, which makes it easier to share book recommendations. But the act of reading itself is still solitary.

So maybe that’s why Chloe Angyal’s recent piece in The Atlantic, “In Praise of the Lost, Intimate Art of Reading Aloud,” struck a chord with me.

Angyal writes of reading aloud as intertwined with love, as an intimate form of sharing words with another person. It made me think: Have we lost an important communal aspect of reading in our abandonment of vocalizing literature? Or worse, have we lost an important way to understand literature ourselves?

Reading out loud forces the reader to pay attention to the physicality of language, and how the way things sound strengthens meaning. It makes us into better speakers and better storytellers, and ultimately, better writers.

Despite new technologies, it still seems essential that we take time to continue reading out loud. I'm going to start by sharing at least one piece of writing each week, whether it's an article, an excerpt, or a poem. Join me?

Image via (cc) flickr user mintlips


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