The first Wednesday in February is World Read Aloud Day. The day is established to encourage literacy, especially among children, around the world. Being able to read and write can be an important part of an individual’s success.
This day resonates with me because I see significant value in reading aloud. Parents reading to very young children builds an interest in reading and hearing stories that will encourage literacy as children grow. There’s an added benefit—when parents read to children, a strong bond can grow between the parents and kids. As the children learn to read, they can still have bedtime stories, but they can read to their parents. It continues the tradition, develops the children’s reading skill, and helps the family bond grow stronger.
As an editor, I recommend authors read their manuscripts aloud as part of the editing process. Ideally, one person reads, and another person follows along in the manuscript. My dear friend, who was also my editor for Dream or Destiny, visited me for several days, and we took turns reading aloud. We did this for my book and a couple of hers. The reader might stumble over an awkward sentence or a missing word. The listener might catch that the reader didn’t read what was written in the manuscript, but instead she read what made sense to her. At that point, we stopped and considered what was written compared to what was read and decided if we needed to change a word or a phrase. Reading the manuscript is time-consuming, so I don’t do it with my clients. However, I recommend that they find a friend or family member to partner with them on reading aloud.
Of course, authors often read aloud from their work at book signings and other appearances. When Dream or Destiny was released, I had a few book signings and read aloud from my Kindle. That was the most popular part of the signing. I picked a very suspenseful passage from the book and ended with a cliffhanger, so guests were eager to get the book and find out what happened.
And for everyone, reading aloud is just plain fun—especially if you choose the books carefully. Using different voices to different characters and perhaps adding more sound effects and drama to the reading can be entertaining for the readers and listeners.
Enjoy reading something fun aloud today!