Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Simple Suggestion #208... Read aloud

Before cinema, radio, television, and the internet, what did people do for entertainment? Lots and lots of different things, but the one I've recently rediscovered quite by accident is reading a book -- out loud.

On the way home from Lethbridge back in May, I opened my daughter's copy of The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden (HarperCollins 2013, ISBN 978-1-44343-159-0), thinking I'd read a few chapters on the way home, and before long, I was chuckling to myself. The guy in the driver's seat (my hubby) asked what was so funny, so I quickly summarized the few pages I'd already read, and then continue reading Jonas Jonasson's very funny story aloud so that Lee and I could enjoy it together.

I read for almost five hours. My voice was shot, but we couldn't stop. I was supposed to drive the Calgary to Edmonton leg of the trip, but Lee was finding the story so amusing that he decided to drive on so I could continue reading to him. It was one of the fastest trips home in memory as we laughed together at the adventures of Nombeko Mayeki and the twin Qvist brothers, both named Holger, not to mention three Chinese forgers, an American potter, an angry young woman, and numerous international figures. The book had more twists and turns than the road up to Mount Edith Cavell, and Jonasson's wry humour made us both laugh many times at his ingenuity in crafting an entertaining story.

When you find something good, it's only natural to want to share it, but there's something really wonderful about sharing a book aloud with someone special. I think I enjoyed this one twice as much for Lee's reactions to it. It wasn't always easy to find time for reading, but we finally finished Nombeko's adventures last night... and my daughter insists that Jonasson's first book, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (HarperCollins 2012, ISBN 978-1-44341-9-109) is even better, so guess which book we'll share next?

Today's suggestion is simply to share a book out loud. The trick is to find the right one, a willing partner in literary enjoyment (preferrably one who will read to you when your voice gets tired), and time to read it together. I highly recommend it -- and The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden.

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Click here.

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