The Beauty of Reading Aloud as Adults

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A Sonlight Moment from a month ago got me thinking this morning. Many Sonlighters discover the joy of Read-Alouds through their years of listening to books together. This is different from the "book haters" who are foiled by Sonlight. Finding pleasure in reading a great book alone is one thing. But corporate reading is like going to the movie theater. Movies can be fun to watch alone, but people shell out big bucks to see a flick on the big screen with friends. Why? There is something amazing about experiencing a movie with others.

Same with books.

And now, as a married man, I continue to have opportunities to read books aloud to my wife and friends. We're all adults who love sharing a great book together. This from a kid who struggled with reading for years.

Shared Story
Shared Story

What is so beautiful about reading books out loud? The two big things for me are:

  1. Shared experiences are a big part of relationships. The more connections we have with one another -- be they family trips, inside jokes, common stories -- the closer we are. This is one reason why long distant relationships can be so hard. Reading books aloud together lets us build more points of connection.
  2. We gain a deeper understanding from stories when we encounter them together. When someone laughs at a joke I didn't immediately catch, I see more richness in the tale. This is why you catch so many people leaning over and asking, "What just happened?" in stage productions. With Sonlight, we are encouraged to pause and strike up a conversation about the stories as we read them.

Do you have kids who still love to share a Read-Aloud together years after graduating? What beautiful things have you seen in reading together with your children?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Guardian

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