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Greenburgh Public Library Blog

Reading Out Loud: Reading to Distractions

by Cristina Ramos-Payne on 2020-08-11T12:47:05-04:00 in Children, Adults, Literacy, Books & Literature | Comments

I used to be a voracious reader when I was a teen and young adult. Now I read at a slower pace. It began when I became a mother. Reading while sleep deprived was hard enough. Reading while trying to keep an eye on the baby who learned to climb before she could crawl was near impossible. Instead, I spent a lot of time reading with the kids. I must have read hundreds of picture books to them over the years, and that doesn't even include the favorite titles that I reread until I could recite them from memory. (There was a time I could easily rattle off the names of various dinosaurs because my son liked dinosaur ABC books.) As they grew, I read longer stories to them, usually a chapter at a time, because my voice could only handle so much even with a glass of water to soothe my throat. I really think my oldest child's reading improved greatly because I choked through several chapters of books like The Hobbit until she decided to read them by herself. It was a happy day for my voice when we could take turns reading to each other. Here are some of the titles we've read together over the years:

          

              

Pro tip: As they got older, we would read longer books separately and only read the final chapter or two together.

Reading with my family really slowed me down and made me think about the story. I gave voices to different characters, so I needed to make sure I was paying attention and knew who was talking. Sometimes we stopped to talk about the character's poor choices or to give our predictions about the direction of the plot. What is interesting is that by slowing down, I manage to remember the books I've read better. And by reading together, I tried more books that I might not have considered.


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