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Reading Aloud: The Gift of Gifts

I always know when I love a book…I dog-ear the entire thing.

Little turns for little insights I want to remember to revisit. Double page turns for those big thoughts that stopped me in my tracks and made me stop and think before moving on.

Another telltale sign of a good book is how worn the cover gets…like with this stack of children’s books from our library.

I cannot count the mornings right after breakfast (or right before bedtime) that my four kids would run into the closet where we stored their books and come out with a stack in their arms almost as tall as they were. Every mom cherishes specific moments in parenting…mine will always be the long hours of reading aloud to my kids…something they never grew tired of doing.

As they got older, our choice of books became more sophisticated (and we read series books)…but they never wanted me to stop…time and again, they would beg me for one more chapter…”Just one more, please?”

And more often than not, I’d relent (for my sake as well as theirs).

Reading — it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

I like what Jan Karon writes about the happy pastime of reading aloud to our kids.

Reading aloud can foster (and nurture) all sorts of wonderful benefits for the reader as well as the listener. It can, for example, increase vocabulary, sharpen grammatical skills (“Grammar is more caught than taught,” says bestselling author Jim Trelease of The Read-Aloud Handbook), cultivate curiosity and learning, extend one’s attention span…

You get the idea.

When you read aloud with a true heart, to children or adults, it isn’t just words that pour out. Love pours out.

It wraps us closer. It gives wings to the imagination. It fosters conversation and the sharing of ideas. It makes us feel loved and secure. It heightens, and sweetens, the sense of family or friendship.

What’s not to love?

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