Back when books were scarce and expensive, storytelling and reading out loud were forms of art. People would travel all over to tell stories to one another. That was how stories were passed down through generations. Reading aloud was a way to capture the words, their meaning, and their sounds. Sometimes, reading to yourself doesn’t capture the full effect of words.
When we were children, we often read out loud in school while learning to read. It helped us learn how to properly pronounce words and practice articulating. Nowadays, reading out loud is scarce. As adults, we don’t read out loud as much as we used to, if at all. If we do read out loud, it’s usually to relay information to someone else or reading to our kids.
In short, reading out loud is important. Not only as an art form but as a way of continually learning and understanding words. According to The New York Times,
Reading aloud recaptures the physicality of words. To read with your lungs and diaphragm, with your tongue and lips, is very different than reading with your eyes alone. The language becomes a part of the body, which is why there is always a curious tenderness, almost an erotic quality, in those 18th- and 19th-century literary scenes where a book is being read aloud in mixed company. The words are not mere words. They are the breath and mind, perhaps even the soul, of the person who is reading.
So, if you have the opportunity, read out loud! Read to your friends, your significant other, your family, even yourself!
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