Reading aloud…

My Dad shared a sweet story with me today… in the Italian class he teaches, a student told him they’ve lent my book to a friend and each night the husband is reading it aloud to his wife. What a lovely thought! I felt really touched to hear this. (And in a curious twist, today happens to be “Read Aloud Day”.) I loved it as a child when one of my parents read aloud to me each night and I always begged for ‘another story’ rather than go to sleep.

The Enchanted Wood was a favourite read to me and then I read over and over myself. I still have this 1956 edition Mum’s father gave to her when she was eight. Mum then gave it to me at about the same age, but when I was older and moved out of home, I left the book with her, knowing how she treasured it. Then, just two months before she died, Mum gave me this book again, wrapped as a present on the night I graduated from my Masters degree, and I can’t tell you how precious it is to me, even if very marked and foxed and falling apart!

(If only my name inside in my grade 3, ‘running writing’ – yet to graduate from pencil to pen – was as elegant as my grandfather’s cursive script. Mine’s really only got worse, not better!)

Happy reading aloud!
Zoë xx


Filed under books + writing

4 responses to “Reading aloud…

  1. Brian Hensler

    Zoe, Your dad taught me in Goondiwindi in 1968, a lovely man as I’ve always recalled, and a part of the educational inspiration to go on and acquire a Masters in Applied Linguistics and Literature. How delightful it is to see this love of books transcending generations in people’s families. The printed word carries such immense power in connecting generations and memory, a bridge to span space, time and all manner of obstacles as I’m exploring in a set of poems based on reflections on various caminos I’ve walked in Spain.
    Thank you for your sharing, and I would be very pleased if you might remember me to your father,
    Warmest regards,

    • Hello Brian, what a lovely connection, I’ll be sure to let my Dad know I received your message. He is going well and though retired from school teaching now, he still teaches Italian classes to adults on a voluntary basis. It’s wonderful to hear he may have had some modest part to play in your going on to higher studies in linguistics and literature. He’ll no doubt be chuffed to hear that. Thanks for letting me know.
      Yes, with both my parents being school teachers and avid readers and my grandfather a great storyteller, books and spoken stories were very much a part of my growing up, for which I’m truly grateful. From the time I could read I also wanted to write, almost as if it chose me rather than me it.
      Your poetry based on el camino sounds fantastic. I’ve read about and watched several films and shows on the Camino de Santiago and it is intriguing and no doubt a challenging yet rewarding experience to walk it. All the very best for your writing.
      Warmest wishes,

  2. Such a wonderful story Zoe! I’m glad you still have your special storybook. My favourites were also Enid Blytons, but it was the Brer Rabbit series.

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