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Friday, September 4, 2009

Read Aloud to Someone

09-09-04

Do you love to be read to?

The spoken word conveys a personal touch that plain old black and white can't touch. And sometimes people can't read for themselves; the spoken word is their only access to the printed page.

So, on the principle that "it's better to give than to receive," why not read to someone?

Charity begins at home: Is there a child you could spend some quality time with? (And don't wait for bed-time, when they're likely to fall asleep.) Or an older relative who would appreciate the effort? Or someone whose physical condition prevents them from reading for themselves?

If not, how about a neighbor, or a friend?

Failing that, there are always institutional opportunities: Reading to kids at a school or a shelter, or to older folks in a home, or to those in the hospital.

Now, about how to read: it's really up to you.

If you're most comfortable with reading in a natural voice, by all means, do. Just be sure to keep the volume at an appropriate level, and to speak clearly. Also, don't go too fast; it's sometimes harder to follow words that we can't see.

But, if you’re up for it, read with expression! If you’re reading a story, do character voices. (A little practice beforehand wouldn't hurt.) And if it's news or other non-fiction, try an "announcer's voice." (I have several.)

So grab something interesting, and find a willing listener, and read aloud.

You'll be happier.

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