Think Only Kids Like to Be Read To? Think Again

Readers are a snooty lot. We look down on others who ignore a book, and shudder at those who say they’ll wait for the movie to come out. In fact, we generally shun the movie, certain that it cannot equal the book. Readers cannot comprehend someone who admits “I haven’t read a book since high school.”  We’re so pretentious we have our own hierarchy.  The Only Classics readers claim top shelf, the middle ranks are the aficionados of non-fiction, mystery, biography and romance, while the bottom shelves are allotted to lovers of graphic novels.

As an avid reader, imagine my surprise to discover I married a non-reader. Let me clarify that statement: He is a non-recreational reader. He reads a lot in his job as a pastor. And what with sermon research and studying, reports and correspondence, when he gets home all he wants to do is relax in front of the TV. Coming belatedly to the understanding that he is an audio learner I now realize he chooses to relax watching TV because of the audio output.

But I still found myself wishing he read for leisure because there were books I’d like to discuss. One day on a long car trip he got bored and glancing at the book I was reading said, “Why don’t you read it to me?”  I did.  It was The Great Train Robbery by Crichton. We both enjoyed it so much that it started our book-sharing pastime.

I’ll let you in on a little secret of speed readers: We do not read every word.  In fact, we tend to go down the middle of a page, peripherally gathering the words along the edges. However, I discovered that when I read it aloud, I get every word – like a whole new story for me.

Since we began this pastime, we have met several other couples who also enjoy reading aloud. Archie reads to Verna each evening while she crochets, Cora reads to David while he fixes dinner, and Ty reads business/research books to her husband to free up his working hours for other responsibilities.

So if you’re a reader and despair of someone in your family not sharing your addiction. Maybe you can whet their appetite in another way: Read to them.

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