When my children were little I must have spent hundreds of hours reading to them. We went from Dr Zeuss to Moby Dick, to poetry to Wind in the Willows to TinTin to Beatrix Potter and a whole load in between. Loved it, still do love it if I get the chance to corner some young ears.
I recently discovered how much I love to be on the receiving end, A french friend is keen to improve her english accent and asked if she could read out loud to me - Twist my arm!!
I had already tried listening to books on CD when driving long distances but rarely found them captivating. Having a real person sat in front of me, putting expression into it, smiling, looking worried etc brings a whole new dimension.
So, I have decided that when I'm about 90 and this body of mine gets tired, and refuses to tear around all day doing ten things at once, as happens to day, I shall provide employment for students and pay them to read to me.
Qualities required to get the job?
1. that I find them likeable
2. that they are capable of reading out loud and convincing me of their
enjoyment of the book, that they can get lost in a story
3. that they have time for a cup of tea and piece of cake with me,
before, during or after the reading
and lastly, and maybe most importantly that they have the accent
to fit the book. I adore accents and I would require many different types.
Just look at this list and see how cosmopolitan my readers will be
I will need (in no particular order):
old fashioned British to read Somerset Maugham -
North West American for Jim Morrisson -
Provencal French to read Pagnol -
Danish for Karen Blixen -
well bred German for Thomas Mann -
very very English to fit Jane Austen -
Afghan for Khaled Hosseini -
east London for Zadie Smith - .....................
This list could go on for ever, but - tell me - who would you choose to read which book out loud?