Today is World Read Aloud Day. I had never heard of this holiday before I read about it on BookRiot but I think it is extremely cool. I am a big fan of reading aloud. When I was younger, my mom read to me and my sisters. This continued until I graduated high school and went off to college. It was a great way to spend quality time together, all piled on the couch listening to mom read and it is one of things I remember the most fondly about my childhood.
I also sent a lot of time reading to my sisters. I was 5-9 years older than each of them so if Mom wasn’t available to read I was a good alternative. My youngest sister made me read Dr. Seuss’s ABC Book so many times, I can recite the poem for almost any letter of the alphabet. (Go ahead and quiz me. It’s scary how much of this book I have retained over the years).
Then there was the time that my sister and two of our cousins (about 5 years old at the time) wanted me to read them the book I was reading. It was Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” which can be a little hard to keep straight at times because of characters with similar sounding names and the fact that everyone keeps switching who they are in love with. But they wanted to hear it so I made them get their stuffed animals and dolls and acted out the plot, using the toy’s names instead of the actual character’s names, because it was easier to keep track of who was who.
But my favorite memory of reading aloud was when I was a teenager and my sisters had badgered me to read them a story. It was Halloween but trick or treating had gotten cancelled due to a bad thunderstorm. We were upstairs in our den, the room that was bordered on all sides by our bedrooms and a bathroom. We sat on the floor, with all the lights off except the light in the bathroom with the door cracked to allow just enough light to see the pages by. I was lying on my stomach with my feet near my sister’s bedroom door. They were gathered around me. And then I started to read Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart.”
Everything was fine until we came to the part where the narrator accidently makes a little noise while trying to sneak into the old man’s room because that is the point where I nudged my sister’s door with my foot and it made a loud creaking sound that sent all three sisters shrieking from the room. It really only took a moment for them to realize what had happened and they all came back asking me to read the rest of the story because they wanted to know what happened next. So I started reading again. We were all intensely absorbed in the story by the time my mother, concerned about the shrieking and the running, came up the stairs to check on us. I don’t remember what part of the story I was reading at the time but I can tell you that the sound of my mom’s footsteps as she came in the room freaked us all out. (There may have been more shrieking and running at that point). I never got to finish reading my sisters that story. My mom, concerned that they were all going to have nightmares, shut down story-time for that evening. But I still look back on that night with fond amusement.
Now that I am an adult, my husband and I will occasionally pick a book and take turns reading to each other. We are currently in the middle of To Kill a Mockingbird. Rob has been laughing at me when it is my turn to read because of my (admittedly bad) attempts to do the accents but we are both really enjoying spending the time together.
How bout you guys? Do you have a favorite reading aloud story? Any recommendations for our next book to read together? I would love to hear it so leave a comment!