HN Gopher Feed (2017-08-29) - page 1 of 10
The Lost Pleasure of Reading Aloud
49 points by benbreenhttps://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/08/the-lost-pleasure-of-reading...
petercooper - 1 hours ago
I love reading, but since having kids (I'd never had to read aloud
before) have discovered I find the sensations around reading aloud
to be extremely unpleasant. Anything that rhymes/has a sing-song
meter is OK.. but I find normal prose gruelling and can't wait for
it to be over. It feels like a sort of claustrophobia, but trapped
by the slowness rather than physically. I often end up paraphrasing
or dropping unnecessary words as I go to make better progress.
ashark - 1 hours ago
The fun for me's in getting all the intonation and emphasis just
right. You don't have to "do the voices" or anything over the
top, but just try to read it how a good narrator might.Try
reading them adult books (if you're not already?and especially
classics, they tend to have really nice prose that you want to
run your eyes over several times just for the sensation, anyway)
or classics of children's literature (e.g. The Jungle Book).
Might help. Lots of childrens' books are just plain bad.
a_e_k - 17 minutes ago
Probably my favorite to read out loud that way is A Christmas
Carol. Dickens originally wanted to be an actor, found fame as
a writer instead, and brought the two passions together by ging
public performances reading/reciting his stories. You can
really tell that A Christmas Carol was meant to be read out
with a bit of zest.
roceasta - 52 minutes ago
>intonation and emphasis just right.Yes. The emphasis carries a
lot of information in addition to the simple text. I find it
hard to do when reading aloud from a book I haven't myself read
before. In fact I think it's one reason I tend to pick my
personal childhood favourites to read.Perhaps this is lazy. I
wonder if other parents do the same?
ashark - 43 minutes ago
It's a skill you get better at. Correctly guessing most of
the time, looking a little ahead when you can, that kind of
thing. Like sight reading music, really. Combination of well-
trained intuition that mostly gets things right and sneaking
a peak at the next few notes or bars when you have the
opportunity. Definitely works some different mental muscles
than silent reading.[EDIT] I've read my kids a couple old
favorites, though not ones I've read recently. In part I've
used them as an excuse to get through entries my personal to-
read list, in fact. Multitasking! Especially when they're
really young, they don't know the difference. My 4-year-old's
super into Ovid right now, which is awesome. Have to skip the
too-sexy or ultra-violent (or, uh, both) bits, but it's
SubiculumCode - 42 minutes ago
Well put it this way, if authors read out loud what they wrote
more frequently, they'd probably better streamline their prose.
jff - 1 hours ago
Personally, I'm just fine at impromptu public speaking, or giving
a presentation, or just talking intensely for an hour or more,
but 5 minutes of reading aloud gives me a dry mouth and tired
jaw. Like you, I can't wait to be done. It's probably a practice
thing; we'll see how I do when I have kids.
DigitalJack - 1 hours ago
You echo my feeling on reading aloud.
triplesec - 1 hours ago
This may be an opportunity to grow, and discover why you don't
like it, so that you can read more to your kids?
dangayle - 2 hours ago
It's been long established that reading aloud to your children is
one of the best ways to advance their early learning.
jasode - 2 hours ago
The (controversial) economist Steven D. Levitt pointed out that
there was no correlation between parents reading to children and
reading test scores.I don't know which studies are accurate.
I just remember that story because the findings were counter-
intuitive. "Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which tracks
the progress of more than 20,000 American schoolchildren from
kindergarten through the fifth grade." --
tpeo - 1 hours ago
I find it odd that it's Levitt and Dubner saying that, because
their most famous papers are the ones that use instrumental
variable regressions to squeeze causal relationships out of the
data. Now they're saying that a correlation from a longitudinal
study can be taken at face value?Maybe I'm reading it wrong,
but it is very strange.
b_emery - 1 hours ago
The editorial you site is from 2005, while the other paper is
from 2014. The latter looks like a large and well designed
study. Here is a quote from the conclusion:"What are the
implications of our findings? Our main finding is that it is
important that young children are being read to. This is an
early-life intervention that seems to be beneficial for the
rest of their lives. We show that there is an important role
for parents in the educational performance of their children.
The evidence strongly suggests that parental reading to
children gives them a head-start in life."I haven't studied
either enough to say for sure, but it appears the the 2014
paper is trying to measure the marginal benefit of reading,
while the Levitt study was looking at larger correlations. The
Levitt study suggests that smart parents end up with smart
kids, reading or not. What is more interesting to me at least,
is what can I do to help my kids succeed? The 2014 paper comes
closer to answering this question, and suggests reading to them
jasode - 1 hours ago
>The Levitt study suggests that smart parents end up with
smart kids, reading or not.To clarify, it wasn't a "Levitt
study" per se. It was government study. The government had
questionnaires asking parents "how often do you read to your
children?" and it had the children's reading test scores.
Levitt found no correlation in those 2 datapoints.
dragonwriter - 1 hours ago
The only thing I find to be less valuable than popular media
news stories about scientific research results is popular media
editorials interpreting research results.Worse yet is such an
editorial reporting conclusions from public data, without
details of the analytical methodology.
jasode - 1 hours ago
>The only thing I find to be less valuable [...] is popular
media editorials interpreting research resultsIn this case,
the medium is not the message here. That page wasn't an
"editorial" in the sense that a dilettante newspaper editor
put his own spin on research he didn't know.Instead, Levitt
himself was writing an article that was short enough for the
editorial space alloted. His longer text is chapter 5 in his
Freakonomics book. (In other words, the so-called
"editorial" was advertising hype for his book.)I just linked
the USA Today page because I thought it was more convenient
than trying to deep-link a copyrighted book.It was a
government study so presumably, Levitt got the raw data and
reports from here:
link I could do but it's not the whole book so it's
BwAAQBAJ&pg=PT25&dq=fr... Google Books doesn't let you
deep-link to Chapter 5 of Freakonomics:
hotgoldminer - 1 hours ago
Excellent for camping trips.
GuiA - 2 hours ago
For material that I struggle understanding upon first read (e.g.
academic papers), I often find myself pacing in circles in my
room/backyard, reading it aloud, slowly, with proper intonation, as
if I was lecturing. It helps a lot, although my neighbors probably
think I'm crazy.
mikepurvis - 2 hours ago
My wife and I had a long-distance courtship. We used to read novels
to each other over Skype. It was a nice change from chatting when
we'd run out of things to say, and a fun way to share favourite
stories. We didn't ever try to read anything really ambitious, but
that was part of what made it enjoyable? even just kids' chapter
books, stuff like Gordon Korman, Louis Sachar, Sid Fleischman.We
don't read to each other as much these days (though sometimes in
the car), but we definitely do read to the kids.
sova - 1 hours ago
That's very beautiful. A friend of mine was kind enough to "make
me an audio book" by recording chapters and sending them to me
sova - 1 hours ago
Not sure how relevant this is but I worked at a dayschool for a
beat and they had a few service dogs come in to sit with the
children while the kids "read to the dog." Most doggies are really
chill and the kids were able to read without fear of criticism or
correction, and the dog was there always happy. Studies (don't ask
me for references, dunno) show that by reading to a dog at a young
age, people become much more confident readers.
jmcgough - 1 hours ago
A ex and I used to read favorite novels to each other, a chapter or
so every night one of us stayed over. There's something very
intimate about it, and it's fun to be able to discuss characters
and the books' deeper concepts as you go along. Maybe I romanticize
it because I was read to a lot when I was a child.On nice days my
partner and I've been going to a nearby park, where I'll read Snow
Crash to them.It's a bit like putting a record on a record player.
You make a conscious decision to focus on the experience and cut
out other distractions.
komali2 - 1 hours ago
Snow Crash is amazing, this is a fantastic idea. Do you get into
it with character voices? I feel like I could up my D&D DM
exposition skills with this :P
jmcgough - 1 hours ago
Yes! I used to do stage productions in school, so I love
getting really into the characters and giving them unique
komali2 - 35 minutes ago
Same! If you're into it I highly recommend trying out a
tabletop RP game, I recently discovered how much of a blast
they can be. Tickles my acting tooth :)
j_s - 24 minutes ago
Just wanted to say I really appreciate all the personal anecdotes
people are sharing; the personal stories aren't often shared in
this quantity in one discussion here and doing so somehow changes
the entire experience in a very positive way. Up-votes all around!
mbroncano - 20 minutes ago
Although still a WIP, I found out that reading to my (mostly
bilingual) kids in the non-dominant language is helping them
mastering those subtle cues that previously gave them away as non-
native speakers. A lot of those issues are pretty difficult to
identify upfront e.g. homophones and reading aloud makes them
evident to them. Correct entonation and cadence come along
naturally now too.
civilian - 2 hours ago
My parents read outloud to me and my brother a lot as we were
growing up. And now, this is something I really like doing with
people I date? I have a couple of books of short stories that I'm
slowing working through. Short stories are vital because my
girlfriends zonk a handful of pages in, but they still have really
aureliano - 2 hours ago
Interesting, reading aloud has been a tradition inside every cigar
factory in Cuba since the 19th century.
reaperducer - 2 hours ago
And before there was a Cuba or a New World, being a lector was a
profession in the factories and workshops of Europe.
__s - 58 minutes ago
Made a drinking game of it with my gf: any time Lovecraft used
something racist, antediluvian, eldritch, horror, terror, geometry,
ineffable, someone drank.. Good times
k__ - 2 hours ago
I often read articles for girlfriends. Especially interesting or
JTxt - 2 hours ago
Nice. For dates we'd go to a library or book store, take random
books and dramatically read the first, middle, and last lines.
And speculate on the rest and/or make fun of it.
tomcam - 2 hours ago
I read aloud to our children every night for about 10 years. They
are both phenomenal readers and actors. I read to them because it
gave me extra snuggle time.
clord - 55 minutes ago
Just finished reading the hobbit and lord of the rings to my 7 year
old. I absolutely loved it, and he's a full blown Tolkien nut now.
Previously we read through Harry Potter.By the end I noticed I have
really developed a voice. He has developed a richer vocabulary (dad
what is "clemency") and is better at reading between the lines.
Certainly enjoyable and educational for everyone. Looking forward
to the next series we read and will miss this when he starts
reading this stuff on his own. Was thinking of volenteeering at an
old folks home.
kenjackson - 2 hours ago
I used to read to my kids and what is interesting is that for the
first time in my life I discovered some things that I never learned
as I went through school.1) Reading poetry is really enjoyable. To
this day, if my son asks me to read to him, I'll probably try to
read poetry. It just feels so good to read.2) There are certain
books that I really enjoy reading aloud and others that I don't.
And its not the content, but just the feel of the words coming off
my tongue.Concrete examples, my favorite children's book to read is
"The Little Island". Even thinking about reading it makes me feel
a little happy. A book that I don't like to read aloud, but like
the message, is "The Little Engine that Could" (this version
I found it a chore to read that book out loud.
ashark - 1 hours ago
> 2) There are certain books that I really enjoy reading aloud
and others that I don't. And its not the content, but just the
feel of the words coming off my tongue.I've read a bunch of
novels to my young kids, and some I wouldn't have thought would
work were great, while others that I liked when I'd read them
before were just awful. Examples: To the Lighthouse. Probably a
clunky read-aloud book, right? Nope, excellent. You have to stay
alert due to the complex, meandering language, but it works well.
Lost Horizon. Simple language, nothing tricky, should be good.
Nope, tripped over the language left and right.
ben_straub - 5 minutes ago
We've been reading aloud to our kids for _years_ now, and it's a
great way to all share an imaginary world together. A great
resource we found is the Read Aloud Handbook , which includes an
enormous list of great books, and the appropriate age at which to
first encounter them.Also, since my son had an extended stay in
another state, we recorded ourselves reading books aloud to his
sister, packaged them into audiobooks, and put them on his iPod.
This really helped us feel connected as a family. I wrote a blog
post about how to do it .: http://www.trelease-on-reading.com
SubiculumCode - 48 minutes ago
I am reading the original Dragon Lance saga to my two daughters.
Very enjoyable, but I'm not satisfied by my voicing of Raistlin.