Once upon a time there was a community that only read aloud. Silent and solitary reading was a rare, almost nonexistent practice. This may seem like the beginning of a fairy tale, but it is only the beginning of the story of reading. Reading without sounds, that which makes the library a temple of silence, is recent in our history. It was essential so that readers could have moments alone with their books (the one about privacy!). But as quiet reading became a habit, reading aloud was almost forgotten. If it weren’t for the children, perhaps this practice would be threatened with extinction. So that it doesn’t happen, I will tell you what is the power of reading aloud and why it should happen at all stages of our life. Come on?
Who gives life is there a text?
Before the reader, the book is a lifeless, opaque and dull object. It is the voice and imagination of the reader that makes the story come alive, almost palpable. Imagine now when that voice that gives life to a book is heard not only by the reader, but also by someone else. It is like sharing the same imaginary space, the same time, the same scenarios. It’s like inviting someone to go on a trip together.
If, in silent and solitary reading, the reader develops privacy and intimacy in relation to the text, in reading aloud the bonds are tightened not only between the reader and the book, but also between the reader, the book and the listener. Here is one of the first beauties of reading aloud: the strengthening of bonds.
A break for reading
It is not difficult to observe how much we are consumed by the rush. If you still have doubts that our pace has changed, notice the difficulty that many people have in waiting. Whether in traffic, in a queue or even a meal. In this scenario, everything that is fast is gaining space, from fast food to the remedy that quickly relieves discomfort. The rush is such that reading aloud can seem like a utopia.
Although our pace of life imposes haste, there is still a space where you and I can choose what to do with our time. That’s when reading out loud becomes an option. In a fast-paced scenario, this type of reading encourages patience , listening, imagination and quality time between families and groups.
From 0 to 100 years: the impacts of reading aloud
Right at the beginning of the text I already announced that reading aloud did not just die thanks to the children. After all, they love to hear stories , ask to repeat one, two, three, four times. But as the little ones grow older, this type of reading decreases, until the peak in pre-adolescence the silent and solitary reading reigns.
This is because we adults fall into the illusion of thinking that after a child learns to read he no longer needs an adult’s voice or reading. The mistake is in forgetting that reading aloud is not a ‘favor’ for those who do not know how to read letters, but rather a generous act of shared time (with quality!). A way of care and attention. Therefore, all those benefits of this form of reading (listening, concentration, memory, imagination, curiosity) continue to apply, for any and all ages.