My computer informed me that today is World Read Aloud Day (WRAD). Founded by LitWorld in 2010, WRAD shares all sorts of fun statistics about how reading out loud helps develop everything from literacy to empathy to financial security. The numbers are pretty clear; reading in any form is good.
Even though I knew this, I felt myself nodding as I clicked through the pages. Mmmmm books. Yay books! I might have even gazed fondly at one of my many to be read stacks.
Then I looked through the doorway. On our table is one last holiday gift. It has rested, unopened as my family waits for a good full day together. Life is busy, with school events, competitions, work, and well, life. Thankfully, none of us feels particularly rushed. We know what it in package.
Shocker . . . it is a book.
But, it isn’t just a book.
Every year we get a read aloud book. Something I have chosen carefully to please the whole crew. Even before we had kids, I used to read to my husband. Then, I read piles and piles of picture books and chapter books to the kids. But this one-book-a-year choice is special. We gather in the living room, with proper blanket supplies and hot tea. We open the gift and dive in.
When the tradition started, I thought we would read a chapter, perhaps two a night. My mistake was starting with Harry Potter. Let’s just say I lost my voice many times in the years we worked through that series. Rowling is a master at propelling her audience forward.
Another favorite was TumTum & Nutmeg, by Emily Bearn. It was adorable and sweet, but with purpose. Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan was a quick read, and it was the type that required lots of tissues. I never did get to finish Douglass Adam’s Complete Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe. Opening a bookshop required some extra time, and my now teen kiddos decided to take matters into their own hands. Lesson learned, I picked out something shorter this year, something to bring us back to the couch together. We are all taking comfort in the promise the package holds.
Perhaps my computer was telling me that tonight is the night. I can’t wait.
Perhaps my computer was telling me that Skylark Bookshop could help pass on our tradition.