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About the book
  • Published: 1 February 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409015178
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 480

A Little, Aloud

An anthology of prose and poetry for reading aloud to someone you care for




A unique anthology of prose and poetry especially selected for reading aloud -- with a foreword by Blake Morrison

We remember it from childhood. The unique comfort of being read to – at bedtime, when we were ill, as a salve for the bumps and bruises of life. We knew it, we felt it. And now, science is showing it to be true.

We are on the cusp of a reading revolution. Increasingly, research is uncovering an intimate connection between reading and wellbeing. The seemingly simple act of being read to brings remarkable health and happiness benefits. It stimulates thought and memory, encourages the sharing of ideas and feelings, hopes and fears. It enriches our lives and minds.

This unique book offers a selection of prose and poetry especially suitable for reading aloud – to your husband or wife, a sick parent or child, an elderly relative. Or to someone who finds it hard to concentrate for long, someone who finds reading difficult or simply someone who has never been given the chance to get into a really good book. With short introductions and discussion topics for each piece there’s something here for everyone – from Shakespeare and Black Beauty to Elizabeth Jennings and Saki. It puts great books in the hands and minds of people who need them.

Proceeds from this book will go to The Reader Organisation, the leading UK agency for reading and health.

  • Pub date: 1 February 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409015178
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 480

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Praise for A Little, Aloud

“I've always known that reading aloud was one of the paths to greater happiness in life. It's rather pleasing to hear of research backing this up convincingly. But reading aloud isn't medicine to be swallowed to make one feel better. It's pleasure. Pure pleasure.”

Stephen Fry

“Reading aloud is an activity that everyone can take part in. It sharpens the intellect, invigorates the imagination and enlarges the scope of human sympathy. If we all read aloud every day, the world would be a better place.”

Philip Pullman

“Reading aloud brings health and happiness: guaranteed! I urge you to buy this book, read the wonderful (and funny, surprising, thought-provoking) pieces collected here to someone you care for and see the results for yourself.”

Fiona Phillips

“Being read to is the beguiling beginning of learning to love reading - it opens the door to absolutely everything and anything we might want to do in life.”

Joanna Trollope

“I read to stroke victims so know first-hand the power of good that reading aloud can do. This first-rate collection is a real treasure trove and I can't recommend it highly enough.”

Richard Briers

“A Little, Aloud is wonderful -- a luscious, challenging enticement to read and hear and share the love of doing both. We don't read with the eye only. Until we hear literature we don't possess it. This anthology is more than a collection of good writing, it wakens the ear to what good writing is.”

Howard Jacobson

“There's no doubt that reading aloud together about other's lives makes it possible to think and talk about our own in new ways ... All the better if what is read is gracefully and perceptively written ... To bring together, as this anthology does, pieces that lend themselves to reading aloud, the editors have made a most generous and welcome contribution.”

Tim Parks

“The Reader Organisation is doing something no one else is doing on a such a scale and in such an inventive and thoughtful way: bringing books to people and people to books in a way that will change their lives for the better.”

Raymond Tallis

“Once upon a time people always read aloud - even to themselves. But lately reading has been privatised. This lovely book is an antidote to that trend and will give much pleasure to readers and hearers alike.”

Rt. Revd. Dr. John Saxbee, Bishop of Lincoln

“Reading is a nice hobby -- like oxygen. This book can help you breathe.”

Simon Barnes

“Reading aloud you give a voice - your voice - to the text on the page. You bring the page to life. And being read to - what an abundantly enriching pleasure that is! All those other lives entering your own.”

David Constantine

“Unlike playing the piano or doing conjuring tricks, which take hours upon hours of practice before they're ready to inflict on other people, reading aloud is an activity that everyone can take part in. At the same time, there's scope for the utmost exertion of talent and dedication. It gives pleasure to the reader, and pleasure to the listeners too. The expenditure of money and the emission of carbon dioxide is almost nil. It sharpens the intellect, invigorates the imagination, and enlarges the scope of human sympathy, and if we all read aloud every day, the world would be a better place.”

Philip Pullman

“An interesting reminder of how we all bring our very different experiences into reading literature, and contribute in a mysterious readerly way to its great richness of meaning ... a salutary reminder of its power of comfort and healing.”

John Fuller

“This is the best cause in the world.”

Jane Gardam

“An interesting reminder of how we all bring our very different experiences into reading literature, and contribute in a mysterious readerly way to its great richness of meaning ... a salutary reminder of its power of comfort and healing.”

John Fuller

“I used to read the Alexander MCall Smith books to Jack, my late husband, when he was laid low by chemo or just under the weather and he absolutely adored it, in spite of my dreadful attempts at a Mama Ramotswe accent. I loved it too, because it made me feel I was actually doing something to ease that helplessness a carer often feels. In the beginning was the word and words have magical properties. They transport us and divert us and challenge us and yes, they are the best therapy and the warmest company we can have. I'm much more thrilled when people tell me they've laughed at my books or my jokes have helped them through bad times than when they compliment me on a performance. Also, after I lost Jack, the only thing I could read , for over a year, was poetry, and my debt to the poets I read is huge. I think this book is an incredible invention, and like all great inventions, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it.”

Maureen Lipman

“This book is an incredible invention, and like all great inventions, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it.”

Maureen Lipman


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