My youngest daughter loves for me to read aloud to her, as did my oldest until she became a busy teen. Both girls are somewhat lazy readers preferring others to do the reading work or to see the movie versions instead, but they really enjoy hearing the stories come alive as I read – with feeling! By varying tone and speed, using different voices and dialect, those little words on the pages can become magical. My youngest daughter and I are taking a beginning Spanish class together, so we’re even reading some simple Spanish/English children’s stories (I can do the accent pretty well from previous lessons years ago). I’d like to encourage “read-alouders” to use those techniques – yes, be bold and break out of your conservative mode because not only will your listeners be spellbound, but you will enjoy the feeling of “bustin’ loose! It’s fun!
My dad and stepmom, retired “old people,” enjoy taking turns reading aloud to each other during quiet times at home or during road trips. It may keep them occupied as miles pass by on their trips, but it is also time to share and bond as they take turns speaking and listening to each other and discuss their thoughts about the book. The last book they read together was “Memoirs of a Geisha”; Dad, having spent military time stationed in Japan some years after WWII, was the expert at pronouncing the strange words. They could better understand the movie as well as compare book to movie.
So perhaps we’re never too old to read to each other. It takes a willingness to spend quiet time together – what a rarity in today’s world, but the reward is worth it.
Here is a link to Jim Trelease’s website (of The Read-Aloud Handbook fame) for tips on reading to children: http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/rah_chpt4_p1.html