Monday, November 02, 2015
A.P. Story Hour
If someone claims that being read to aloud isn't something you do past childhood, you'll certainly hear me yell, "Balderdash!"
When I mentioned hosting a Story Hour for 'big kids', (ie Govs students),
I didn't know whether the idea would be viewed as a bit fruity or brilliant. Fortunately, as we have such a hip and cool staff in the library, the latter held true. The premise of "AP Story Hour" is quite simple. Most of us were read stories as children, but as we get older, this ordinary and magical experience becomes virtually extinct. So why not reintroduce the tradition in a modern adolescent setting? Bring young adults back to their respective carpeted squares in the children's section of their local libraries. Genius, right?
In an age dominated by the electronic dissemination of information and social networking, the art of reading aloud seems essential for so many reasons. Reading aloud allows young people to experience literature together. As in, what together used to imply - face to face, in the same room, no snapchat or twitter - together! It also seems as if reading aloud taps into some part of our subconscious, like a long forgotten part of our history, that we can still feel. It is communal in an age where so many experiences seem computerized and surreal.
Let us not forget that reading aloud also has quite a regal history. Before the creation of the printing press, storytelling was an essential part of both royal life and the common man. Bards, poets and storytellers were venerable and sometimes wealthy people. While I am certainly not in the library business for the money, reading aloud is very much a favorite pastime of mine and I enjoy doing it for people of all ages. Near the end of my grandmother's life, I read aloud (and stomached) a Harlequin romance novel for her.
After announcing the first Story Hour, I fretted that no one would show. I must confess I offered candy to tempt some, (because the currency of candy in a boarding school is always off the charts!) So, happy was I when 10 of you arrived for our first spooky short story night! We would all agree that we had a fun and creepy literary adventure together.
I look forward to reading aloud to you soon. Join us this Tuesday night, November 3, @ 8 PM in the library for a continuation of our spooky tales from last week.
For further suggestions for reading aloud, check out this N.Y. Times list: