My first-grade year was very disrupted by one teacher after another quitting.  One broke her leg.  Another had some kind of mental breakdown.  I don’t know what happened with the others.  I didn’t think we were a particularly difficult class though I do remember one poor little girl that I’m sure had an unrecognized learning disability.  Every day she was taken back to the “cloak room” and spanked by the teacher, as any noncompliance was seen as misbehavior.  Even as a six-year old, I could see something was patently wrong in this situation.

            Because of the inconsistent teaching, I was not learning to read.  My distressed mother bought a collection of little toys and put them in a bag.  Every time I read a book, I could pick something from the bag.  Then came the day when I asked for my prize.   When my mother said there would be no more prizes I wasn’t upset.  By that time I recognized that reading had become its own reward.  I have always felt sorry for folks who have difficulty reading or simply don’t like to.

I recently came across information about the benefits of reading aloud.  A recent study from the University of Waterloo found that you are more likely to remember something if you read it out loud, that speaking text aloud helps to get words into long-term memory. Dubbed the “production effect,” the study determined that it is the dual action of speaking and hearing oneself that has the most beneficial impact on memory.   

Another study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the brain lights up the same way when you read to yourself as when you read aloud.  The Waterloo study, however, emphasized that learning and memory benefit from active involvement.

Reading aloud to oneself is not something I had considered.  I enjoy reading to my grandchildren and to my spouse on long trips.  The closest I come to reading aloud to myself is when I sit on the porch and “preach to the birds,” (practice my sermon prior to preaching on a Sunday 😊).  But I do enjoy even that.

         In this age when there are so many digital devices in which to engage, reading remains fundamental to our growth and enrichment.  Consider sharing in the reply section of this blog something you have read recently that you enjoyed or found meaningful in some way. And happy reading! 😊

May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.

          Shalom, Kate

Hope’s Café Bonus:  Curl up with a good book and enjoy some Spicy Hot Cocoa: To make two mugs:  Place 2 c.  whole milk and 1 T. brown sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in 5 oz chopped semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips work, too!), ½ t. vanilla extract, ¼ t. ground cinnamon and a pinch of ground chili pepper.  Allow the spices to infuse for 5 min., then return saucepan to low heat until it simmers.  Strain and pour into mugs, then garnish your cocoa with whipped cream, a pinch of cayenne and a cinnamon stick stirrer.

4 thoughts on “Books”

  1. I have always loved to read. I was so lucky – my Aunt Lillie was a librarian and she read aloud to us constantly! I can remember the staccato in her voice when she would read nursery rhymes such as Hickety Pickety My Black Hen. I’m convinced that hearing her read aloud helped me immensely when I started school. I am currently reading Lost Horses, a collection of seven short stories by Mark Saha. (Early in his career he won the Samuel Goldwyn Creative Writing Award.)

    As for reading aloud, my senior year of college I was taking an Anthropology class that was killing me. I didn’t have the background necessary for the class, but I needed a science class that met on Tuesday-Thursday at 11:00 and this was my only option. I can remember reading passages of the textbook aloud over and over, trying to understand them, and to help remember them when I would move to the next chapter. I ended up with a B in the class and I’m pretty sure that reading aloud helped get me there.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Unfortunately, reading about the corruption in previous administrations has been encouraging because our country survived those problems. I even found one book (sorry I can’t recall which) that traced the years in our history when the government was/was not mostly guided by incompetence and graft. May there be better days ahead. For goodness sake, encourage everyone to go vote!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely! Don’t know that you follow FB much but I posted about how nervous i was waiting for our absentee ballots,, concerned they would be misdelivered. Sure enough they were.. The neighbor, who normally only checks her mailbox on the 15th of each month (! who does that?) just happened to check it and discovered our mail and was kind enough to give it to us…..would have been so easy in this huge complex for someone less responsible to have received it! Yikes!

      Liked by 2 people

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