Reading Aloud

A Lamplighter Moment from Mark Hamby

Did you ever see a movie based on a 19th-century setting where the host has one of the daughters read a chapter from a book? What has happened to this family and social activity of reading aloud?

Children who have many opportunities to listen and read tend to become skilled thinkers, speakers, and writers. The New York Times published an article by Verlyn Klinkenborg (May 16, 2009), on the lost art of reading aloud, saying, “… listening aloud, valuable as it is, isn’t the same as reading aloud. Both require a great deal of attention. But one of the most basic tests of comprehension is to ask someone to read aloud from a book. It reveals far more than whether the reader understands the words. It reveals how far into the words–and the pattern of the words–the reader really sees.

“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 a sensational 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.”

As I ponder this connection between reading aloud and a child’s intellectual development, I am convinced that reading and hearing the Word of God is the foundation for one’s spiritual development.

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). I think I can now see the connection when Jesus read the words of Isaiah aloud when He visited the temple. Perhaps reading the Scriptures and other great books aloud in our homes and churches should have a rebirth. It may lead to a rebirth and awakening of our souls.

Mark’s Favorite Book of the Day:

Teddy’s Button
The perfect read aloud for the whole family! A customer favorite!

Who is your most foul and cruel enemy? After reading Teddy’s Button, you may have a new answer to that question. Flamboyant Teddy Platt cannot keep silent about the glorious history of his sacred button. Soon this passion brings him into contention with a new little girl in the village. God uses this enmity to bring Teddy to his knees, ready to sign up in the Lord’s Army prepared for service in the war against his worst enemy – himself! Are you a faithful servant of the King flying the banner of Love over your life? Teddy has some lessons to teach us all.

  • katie lapierre

    Good stuff Mark! Our whole family is so encouraged by this ministry and we recently started the art of reading aloud 🙂