The Atlantic: The lost, intimate art of reading aloud

The Atlantic: The lost, intimate art of reading aloud

I have a piece at The Atlantic today, about a new book called Judging A Book By Its Lover, by Lauren Leto. The book is a love letter to reading and to books, but there’s one kind of reading that she doesn’t cover. Reading aloud isn’t just for kids, you know:

It wasn’t until years later that I rediscovered the joy of being read to, this time in bed instead of in the bath. I was dating a towering nerd of a man, the kind of guy who got as excited as I did about a road trip to the Creation Museum in Kentucky or as appalled by the travesty that is Shakespeare conspiracy theories.

A few months into our relationship, I discovered that to my horror, he had never read Pride and Prejudice. He had read On the Origin of Species and Anna Karenina and most of Shakespeare’s plays, even the obscure ones like King John, but never Pride and Prejudice? It was one of my favorite books! Lizzie Bennet is my favorite fictional proto-feminist heroine! How could he truly understand me until he had met her? How was he going to get the joke of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?

I wanted him to read this book, partly because it’s a wonderful novel that everyone should read, and partly because I really loved it and wanted to share it with him. So we decided that we would read it together, aloud.

You can read more here.


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