The Joy of Listening to a Book Read Aloud

Story Time Reviews, a monthly feature on this blog, remembers that special time when an adult reads to a child and recognizes that as a grown-up, we need to reward ourselves with a story time now and then. This series reviews audio versions of short stories. Do you enjoy listening to audio books? Do you enjoy reading aloud to a family member? Or vice versa? Often during my grandson’s weekly visits he will read aloud to me. I find this personally valuable, but it got me to wondering if there are additional benefits. Though the joy of listening to a book read aloud has plenty of value, there are many other benefits to listening to stories read aloud. Increases Listening Skills Listening to a story read out loud forces the person listening to focus on the sounds of the words. One develops a greater attention span. The reader adds value to the story with the inflections and stresses of the words and sentences they use. This engages the critical listening skills of the listener.  Critical listening is paying attention to all the parts of the story. You analyze and evaluate what you’re hearing. Uh-oh, that character’s in trouble now! When […]

12 Ways to Increase Your Reading Pleasure

You are a reader. Whether you read stories or novels, on paper or on an electronic device, you get pleasure out of reading. But I’ll bet there’s at least one thing you can do to improve your experience. Consider these 12 ways to increase your reading pleasure and let me know if you try one. The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story. Ursula K. Le Guin 1. Decide What to Read What do you want to achieve? Learn something? Be entertained? Be frightened silly? Be encouraged by a hero? Read what you like. Unless it’s a school assignment or a skill-learning attempt, don’t waste time reading what you don’t like. Also read books for your reading level or a bit higher. Don’t know what your reading level is? Go to the library (or an online store like Amazon, Kobo, or B&N for those of us self-quarantining), and look at the first pages of a book that interests you. Your reading level should be a bit uncomfortable (in order to stretch yourself) but not so difficult that you put the book […]

What’s Your Reading Style

You already know that reading is good for your brain. You love to read. Whether you read fantasy or hard science fiction or horror or any other genre, you have a reading style. There are all kinds of way to define a reader’s style. Today we’re asking you a question: What’s your reading style? There are twelve possible styles in this post to inspire you when you describe your style. Read aloud  Reading aloud is something you do if you’ve had children, babysat children, or are a grandmother. But sometimes the sound of the words fill you and spill out of your lips. Do you read aloud to yourself? Or to someone else? Reading in Your Head Most adults don’t read aloud. It’s awkward on a bus or a plane. Do you only read in your head?  Reading through Audio Books Some people claim it isn’t reading if you’re listening to an audio book. A book on audio can entertain, ignite imagination, and make you think. Isn’t that what reading does? (And it’s much safer to listen than read while in motion!) Some people read along with the audio book. Do you listen to audio books? So you like to read […]