Reading to Grownups

20 Nov

Remember those special times when an adult would read to you as a child? Perhaps you have a memory of a librarian telling a story during library time, or a teacher reading to your elementary classroom. These experiences were most likely your first introduction to learning books can be fun. I remember hearing Pippi Longstocking in school and I never forgot the story, or the situations Pippi could get herself into.

When my sons were young, I read to them nearly every day and probably enjoyed the tales as much as they did.  I now realize that these times are very high on my list of favorite things.

Reading to others did not stop as I grew older. My husband and I would pick out a book, and I would read it to him as he drove on vacations or to visit relatives. We’d stop to talk about the story and add commentary as we traveled. The way I see it, sharing a story together bonds the participants and provides a way to enjoy ourselves during a tedious time.

Not everyone is an avid or natural reader.  Some may want to read, but can’t seem to get the task completed.As an author, I realize that some may not want to read the genre I’ve written, but I’d hoped at least my family would read them.

My younger sister is one of these people, preferring to listen to books on tape instead. She recently came to visit me and noticed a rack card advertising my books. She halfway teased that I should read one of the books to her. When time allowed, we sat together on the couch and I read my latest release to her. I stopped to explain the name I’d given a character or what I was thinking when I wrote a certain passage. She added a little humor; if I couldn’t pronounce a word very well, she called it a typo.

We both gained something from this reading. She said she really enjoyed the story, and we both enjoyed the solidarity. I never dreamed how fun it would be to read one of my stories to someone, giving me a chance to see reactions and explain how ideas came to me.

Reading to grownups can be just as rewarding, forging a closeness that results no matter your age.


Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Idaho


14 responses to “Reading to Grownups

  1. Janis

    November 20, 2011 at 6:58 AM

    Reading aloud is a pleasure for me. I’ve recorded textbooks for the visually-impaired and, while the subject matter isn’t one I’d choose, I learned along the way. My sister and her son has a standing Sunday date when he reads a book they’ve chosen and it’s one of her favorite special times.

    Wonderful point about the pleasures of reading or being read to aloud.

    • Mary Vine

      November 20, 2011 at 11:06 AM

      Recording books for the visually impaired is a wonderful thing to do. Good for your sister and her son. Making good memories. Thanks, Janis!

  2. ramblingsfromtheleft

    November 20, 2011 at 7:23 AM

    Mary, there is something special about reading a story to someone else and hearing the sound of our own voice. It’s fun reading to the kids or to grown ups 🙂

    • Mary Vine

      November 20, 2011 at 11:08 AM

      I think hearing your voice is part of the joy, too. Thanks!

  3. sandra dowling

    November 20, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    Mary, what a wonderful experience and thank you for sharing it. However, I would have enjoyed it more if you would have read it to me!

    Your sister

    • Mary Vine

      November 20, 2011 at 11:07 AM

      I did read it to you. Wait, you finished it by yourself.

      • Mary Vine

        November 20, 2011 at 1:32 PM

        Oh, you mean read the blog to you 🙂

  4. Kyrsten

    November 20, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    I still read aloud to my 12 year old son (youngest child) as he still needs help “getting into” a book. I enjoy that special time together and the link it gives me to ask him about the book as he reads through it on his own.

    Thanks for sharing about this Mary.

    • Mary Vine

      November 20, 2011 at 1:31 PM

      You’re welcome, Kyrsten. I try to help some of the high school students I work with in the same way. Sometimes, I can help them get into it, other times not.

  5. Marsha R. West

    November 20, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Hey, Mary. Reading to kids is one of the most powerful things we can do for children–helping develop in them the love of reading. As a former theatre teacher, I really got into the reading aloud stuff.
    One of my fondest memories, however, is with adults. For several years, I read “The Littlest Angel” at our Women of the Church Christmas luncheons.

    Thanks for sharing this post and reminding me of some lovely times.

  6. Carley Ash

    November 20, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    My fourth grade teacher read Little House in the Big Woods to us, and I went on to read all the Little House books. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized this “fun” activity was really a lure to get me to read.

    When I was 28 and in the hospital with a ruptured appendix, my mother read to me. Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarden.

    I love being read to. And I like listening to books on tape when I travel.

  7. Susan Russo Anderson

    November 20, 2011 at 4:36 PM


    Thanks so much for this post. It brought back so many memories for me of adults reading to adults.

    Years ago we were in London and tuned into the BBC in time to hear one of their evening broadcasts, one of their narrators (or maybe it was Greene himself) reading from “A Burnt Out Case.” This was in the early 80s, and I can still hear the voice.

    We had a group of friends who used to have reading parties. BYOB meant Bring Your Own Book. We sat in a circle and we each read a passage from the book we were reading. Afterward there was food. There must be something elementally soothing about listening to someone read. The parties were a huge success. It would be a good idea for a radio blog, I think.


  8. Lynn Mapp

    November 20, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    Mary, thank you for reminding us about the power of the written word. I loved being read to as a child. When I was sick I’d ask my mother to read me a story. I loved listening as the story unfolded.

  9. Liz Fredericks

    November 21, 2011 at 7:54 AM

    Sounds like you have a lovely relationship with your sister.


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