Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Reading Aloud

We have a tradition of reading aloud in our family. Katie gets credit for starting it when the girls were still babies. I was working nights in those days, but she read them to sleep with piles and piles of books. One Morning in Maine. Miss Rumphius. Mr. Willoughby’s Christmas.

By the time our older daughter was seven or eight, I gerrymandered my schedule so that I could be home at bedtime, and for the next six or seven years, at least until our younger daughter was twelve, I was home most nights to read.

I’m the ham in the family Bull.

I read The Hobbit and the entire Ring trilogy aloud, to each of our daughters separately. Our younger daughter had a thing for Great Expectations, and we read it twice! From first word to last. I think I hooked her with the graveyard scene at the beginning between Magwitch (pictured) and Pip. I loved doing the voices, going back and forth between the gruff, growling convict and the innocent boy. But I think Joe Gargery was my favorite.

These memories have come flooding back to me in the past ten days because Katie and I are reading aloud again. Following my New Year’s resolution I am reading her Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry aloud in small chunks after dinner.

I remove the dishes to the sink, she curls up under a blanket on the bench, I get out the Kindle, and read a few pages. Whatever we’ve been doing or discussing or arguing about, this reading together—from a novel about an ordinary woman and the happiness she finds in marriage and motherhood—somehow settles the whole day over us like a comforter.

I’ve toned it down some, but I’ve still got some ham in me.

1 comment:

  1. Great Expectations is a wonderful book to read.
    I came across this page and there you have an idea for a different Camino experience:
    Dee Nolan, A Food Lover's Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela: Food, Wine and Walking along the Camino through Southern France and the North of Spain (Lantern Books, 2010)


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