Lately, I’ve been enjoying reading aloud to myself. It usually makes me enjoy the book more. The story comes alive before my eyes. As if I am producing a radio broadcast of the story and playing all of the parts.
I feel very relaxed during this process, not just because I love reading so much, but also because of how it makes me feel.
When I hear those beautiful sentences in my room, they feel closer, louder. I can almost see everything that is happening in a book. It is an extraordinary feeling, of being immersed in a story, of feeling the rhythm and hearing the echo of beautifully written words.
With time, my habit of reading aloud turned into my meditation practice, when I can feel relaxed and peaceful, with my imagination leading me to other worlds, and my breathing harmonizing with the rhythm of the book.
My voice changes too when I read aloud. I can hear it transforms into something that the author’s voice would sound like. Or the main character, if the story is written in the first person.
Just like meditating or doing yoga makes you a calmer person, reading aloud helped me be more confident in my public speaking, at the meetings, and during presentations.
I got curious about why I love reading aloud so much, and how it benefits me.
When you’re reading the book aloud, you are speaking and hearing the text at the same time, and it helps your brain to store the information better, so it becomes a long-term memory.
Studies have shown that people would remember the words from a text better if they have read it aloud to themselves, other than reading it silently.
In 2015, researchers from Canada found that the process of repeating the words aloud to another person significantly boosts verbal memory.
If you are studying, learning a new language, or preparing a presentation, it is better if you read out loud the text that you are trying to remember.
Studies have shown that reading aloud results in better word recall; learning and memory benefit from active involvement.
It’s similar to an actor memorizing the script, or a student preparing for the exam.
If you read the text aloud to yourself, you will memorize it better due to the added production element to the whole reading process.
Bringing text to life
Reading aloud is a great way to boost your imagination and learn the style, the form, and the execution of different literary works.
If you are a writer or a fan of reading, then reading the text aloud will make the story come alive in your head. Besides, you will learn different writing styles from experienced authors, or evaluate and analyze your style of writing, and compare the sound of it with the form of written text while you read.
Authors like to read their texts while they’re proofreading and editing their works, so they can hear the text in spoken form, and see how the text sounds, how sentences connect, and how the story flows.
Time well spent
Unlike watching Netflix, reading aloud or being read to by someone leads to a slower unfolding of events and ideas in the mind of a reader.
Reading aloud provokes thoughts, emotions, realizations, and on the whole, insists on the reader’s active engagement in the process. Reading the story to someone or yourself slows down the pace of reading and results in a better understanding of details, characters, and their development, which is important to the story.
The theatrical effect of reading aloud usually adds a new layer of knowing your voice, produces fine-tuning of the voice and lets you decide on the right volume for different types of text.
I often ask my partner to read aloud our favourite books, and those moments are perfect to feel connected and to be present and feel the moment together.
If you decide to try reading aloud, you will find that it brings you so much joy, you will want to re-read all your favourite books aloud.
It is a new way of exploring the stories, of understanding the plot, and of the style of writing. It is the new meditation. The process of breathing, learning, growing and developing skills.
Reading is often associated with positive emotions, and reading aloud enhances this effect, multiplies the pleasure of reading, and creates a strong feeling of happiness.
Bring happiness into your day by reading aloud, your new meditation technique.