126. How to read, Part 1


(Nathan ) #1

New Warhorn Media post by Nathan Alberson:


(Lucas Weeks) #2

Wasn’t expecting this topic. Looking forward to listening.


(Lucas Weeks) #3

I’m very thankful for the bookening. Really great to have guys do the heavy lifting lifting (get it, Jake?) for me. :wink:

Seriously, tho, this is a great episode, and I look forward to the practical aspects in the next one. You can’t leave out a discussion of ebooks these days. Ebooks are very convenient, but any annotations you enter into them can easily be lost, which is a big problem.


(Joseph Bayly) #4

I haven’t made it far in this episode yet, but your discussion of a mother’s reading and what made it good reminded me of this passage from Ralph Moody’s “Mary Emma & Company” (page 39 in the version I was looking at from 1994):

Grace and I had always liked Sunday School. Maybe it was because we knew more of the Bible stories than the others and could answer more of the lesson questions. But neither of us liked church very well, and I think it was for about the same reason: ever since I could remember—except when we had company or when she was so tired she couldn’t keep awake—Mother had read a few verses from the Bible to us before we went to bed. When she read, whether it was the Bible or any other book, it never sounded like reading. She’d glance down at the page for a second or two, then look up at us and tell the story as if she were just talking naturally. None of the ministers we’d ever had did it that way. Some of them sounded as if they were reciting a piece in a Sunday School play, some of them tried to make it sound too grand, and others just read along in a sing-song. Most of them preached their’ sermons the same way they read the scripture.

Mr. Vander Mark, the minister in our new church, read almost exactly the way Mother did, and he didn’t read a whole long chapter—only a few verses, and ones that I think I’d always known by heart. Usually, when the minister was reading scripture that I knew, I just sat with my hands folded in my lap and thought about something else until he had finished, but that morning I found myself listening as if it had been a brand-new story.


(Nathan ) #5

That’s beautiful, actually.


(Fr. Bill Mouser) #6

I don’t know why people who read the Scriptures out loud during worship are not coached by someone on how to do this without wrecking the entire exercise. It’s not as if the Scripture should be read as if by a professor of elocution. But, over the years I’ve heard hours of cringe-evoking performances in reading aloud during worship flaw so egregious that they ripped the listeners’ attention away from the Scripture onto the flaw in reading.

One poor fellow, notorious for misreading, was assigned an OT passage to read where the phrase “Uriah the Hittite” appeared. It came out as “You-Rine the High-Teet.” Every time Uriah appeared in the text, You-Rine" is what came out of the fellow’s mouth.

The same fellow on another occasion rendered a sentence in 1 Cor 10 as " We must not indulge in sexual immortality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day." No one heard the rest of the lection, as they were choking down guffaws.

Most reading mishaps are far less spectacular, but often far more painful to endure.

I think I read out loud very well, and I know how I got that skill - from reading many thousands of novels out loud to my wife and children over the past 40 years. I took a gander at You-Tube to see if there were any tutorials on reading out loud, but all I found were little snippets of things - most under five minutes long.

Can anyone recommend an online tutorial for this skill?


(Joseph Bayly) #7

I’ve only ever seen a short one. Training for it is included in our pastors college, but it’s through practicing reading a passage (without knowing ahead of time what it will be, IIRC) and having the other men critique you.


(Fr. Bill Mouser) #8

This is what I credit for my skills in reading aloud - all those thousands of novels read out loud. I’m confident that when I first began that trek, I was far less skillful than I later became.

What you’re reading out loud makes a gigantic difference, of course. Narrative English - what one speaks/writes when storytelling - is different from the English one uses in technical exposition, such as a the report on research in Chemical Journal. I dare say some English is never intended to be read aloud.

If you wish some challenges to your auditory reading skills, pick up a chapter by G. K. Chesterton which you have never seen before, and try to render it out loud without stopping, going back, and restarting. Or, for the hardest English I’ve ever tried to read aloud, look up any essay by S. M. Hutchens, senior editor at Touchstone. Steve reads and writes Latin, and I often wonder if he handles English as if it were Latin instead.

Or, for fun, find and read aloud Mark Twain’s essay “The Awful German Language.”

Between Twain, Chesterton, and Hutchens, you’ll have high and lifty goals to aspire to for reading aloud. Compared to their works, reading Holy Writ in just about any translation (including the AV) will be child’s play.


(Heather Ummel) #9

In high school, I had a teacher of British literature that had been an actor both on the stage and in radio commercials. He started our year by making us prepare a children’s book to read aloud in front of the class. He considered that a skill needing to be practiced and taught. He moved on from that to radio commercials and finally to Shakespeare monologues. It was such an excellent class! Yes, this especially needs to be taught nowadays when sadly, most haven’t seen (heard) it done well enough or often enough to even have a picture in their mind of the ideal.

Joseph, do you remember the passage from Little Britches where Ralph goes on at length explaining how his mother read books to them? It explains the same concept where she would glance at the book and somehow essentially memorize the page at a glance and then hardly look at it again while reciting/telling it to them.


(Joseph Bayly) #10

Yes, he describes his mother’s reading several times in his books. That passage in Little Britches is probably the longest. They’re sitting down in a ravine by a creek having a picnic IIRC.


(Heather Ummel) #13

Yep, that’s the one!


Not as long as I thought the passage was. If anyone hasn’t read these books, go order them now. Our paperback is dogeared as you can see from the picture because of how often it was been read and reread by my boys. And I don’t think there’s anything I would rather have their minds steeped in other than Scripture.