by Kelley Lindberg
Today is World Read Aloud Day, sponsored by LitWorld.org. Last year, LitWorld, “a non-profit literacy organization fostering resilience, hope, and joy through the power of story,” says there were hundreds of thousands of participants in 65 countries.
Are you going to participate this year? It’s easy. Here are the rules:
1. Grab a book.
2. Read it aloud to someone.
Too complicated? Here are some alternatives: Donate a book to a person, school, shelter, or organization. Write a blog post about books or reading. Buy a new book. Read one of those books you have on your nightstand. Tell someone about a book you think they would like. Say thank you to an author. Say thank you to a librarian. Say thank you to a teacher. If you belong to a book club or critique group, have everyone in the group read aloud something they’ve written.
Something magical happens when words on a page are given breath and spoken into the air. Imaginations spark. Eyes widen. Hearts quicken.
In this world of nonstop information and entertainment, we are overwhelmed with media choices and outlets for our imagination. That’s not a bad thing. But somehow, in the face of all the electronic frenzy around us, there can still be something incredibly comforting about a book.
No pop-up ads. No commercials. No upgrade fees. No technological compatibility issues. No noise.
Just you and a story to lose yourself in, or a new world to immerse yourself in, or ideas to revel in.
And sharing that story, that world, or those ideas with someone else is even better. Watching a child begin to see the story world appear around them as you read is an experience that can’t help but leave you a little happier at the end of the day.
If you know a child, someone whose eyesight is failing, or someone who could just use a little company, take some time out today (or any day) and read a book, a chapter, an article, or a poem to them.
And have yourself a happy little World Read Aloud Day.
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