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.