Book Rec. going back to Reading Styles

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Tue Nov 20 14:25:13 EST 2001


Lizzie:

>Eek.  I read the thief after my baby brother read it in English class and
>thought it was great.  Doesn't she have a DWJ mention in there somewhere?
>It might be in her book of short stories, but I'm pretty sure that there's
>a connection.  I liked The Thief a _lot_, but the sequel REALLY upset me.
>I read it while sitting in a Barnes and Noble (hardback, college student,
>you know how it is) and I had to skip ahead to the ending, too.  And even
>though it was okay, I didn't go back and read the whole thing.  Like I
>said, it really bothered me.

The whole thing makes it better, I promise.  Becca was unconvinced 
that it was going to be workout-able, as was I, but we were both very 
satisfied.  The DWJ ref. must have been in the short stories, I 
think.  Are they good?

>
>On another note--I wonder about being read to and reading styles.  Hallie,
>you read to your children a lot, it seems--do you think this has made them
>more auditory readers, or had some other effect?

This gave us an interesting breakfast-time discussion.  Becca had 
read your earlier comment about not liking being read to, and said 
she loved it.  But then we got talking about it, and she said that 
she reads a little slower than she used to, and more auditorially 
(???).  She can remember images from books she read years ago, but 
hears the words more in her head from recent books - hears me reading 
the words often!  She said there was something I read perfectly from 
_Bridge of Birds_, I think, but she knew if I read it again, it 
wouldn't be right and she'd be annoyed. :)

I noticed after thinking about your question that Cara always wants 
to read along with me when I'm reading out loud - though she promises 
she doesn't read ahead.  And she seems to get much more vivid images 
of characters and actions and places than Becca and I do.  (This was 
my good morning 7 am question to her.)  But she said there's no 
difference that she can think of in the way she experiences books 
I've read to her and books she read first herself.  So I have no idea 
what all this means. :)

>I know my parents read
>to me a LOT when I was little--Chronicles of Narnia, maybe a bit too
>young--but when I got to be about seven I could read so much faster that
>the slowness of the story made me hate being read to.  I'm still not big
>on it--I'm not really a books on tape person.  I avoid them whenever
>possible, actually.

I've only recently been converted to them (and I dislike being read 
aloud to myself).  We got audio-cassettes with performances of all 
the plays on the course (yes, I know plays are different), and after 
that I got pretty interested in the performance/interpretation issue. 
One funny thing was that we did Henry V, and having watched the video 
of Much Ado About Nothing so many times, I could hear the courtship 
scene at the end of HV *perfectly* as done by Kenneth Branagh - even 
before seeing Branagh's film version, or knowing that Emma Thompson 
was in it as well.  But it's horrible if something is badly read. 
Badly compared to your own version of how it should be done, of 
course.

>But then again when I read to people (I used to read
>to my baby brother until he got to be a teenager and waaaaaaaay too cool
>for me) they almost always have to remind me to slow down, and I get
>distracted--my voice keep reading, but my eyes have gone ahead and read
>everything they could see and then my voice forgets to keep going or
>something and, well, I end up going off and reading the rest of the book
>to myself.  Oh, well.

Oh, that's cruel!  (Shades of Northanger Abbey and Henry's reading 
The Mysteries of Udolfo!)  I've been known to wander ahead at 
exciting moments, but am always prompted to keep reading in short 
order.

A related question - does anyone think they learn poetry more easily 
because of being an auditory reader?  I was wondering when people got 
freaked about having to learn off some poetry on my course, whether 
GCSE/A level English didn't involve as much poetry memorising as 
Leaving Cert exams.  Now I'm wondering if that kind of memorising 
might be harder for visual readers.


Hallie.


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