The Art of Reading Aloud: Celebrating D.E.A.R. Day

A smiling woman reading a book to a young girl wearing glasses

We are secretly, well not so secretly, doing the dance of joy because April has one of our favorite days—D.E.A.R. day on the 12th! Yes, it’s Drop Everything and Read Day! As you know, we never need an excuse to read, but it is rather marvelous to have a whole day dedicated to our favorite activity.

Reading aloud is an art — just think of those monotonous AI voiceover YouTube videos, and you will know what we mean. When you compare those to listening to a great audiobook, they’re worlds apart.

Besides being completely enjoyable, reading aloud has a host of unexpected benefits you may not be aware of. So, let’s spend D.E.A.R. Day practicing the art of reading aloud!

The Importance of Reading Aloud

Reading aloud isn’t just an activity; it’s about creating that all-important experience. It builds connections, fosters a love for literature, and is known to improve comprehension skills. We like to think of reading aloud as an opportunity to share more than just the words on a page. It is a moment where we can share emotions, amazing adventures, and ultimately, a piece of ourselves.

Reading aloud creates a special bond between the reader and the listener. It is an act of sharing that can quite simply turn an ordinary story into a shared adventure! Those moments of laughter or a gasp at an unexpected plot twist create a connection and memories that last a lifetime.

When you listen to a story as opposed to reading it, your brain engages in a completely different way. Hearing the words as they are spoken brings the words to life and makes it far easier to understand more complex ideas. It has also been shown that you are more likely to retain information when you listen attentively. That’s why they say if you are focused during a class or lecture and listen attentively, half your learning is done!

Stack of colorful sticky notes with 'UNCOVER THE BENEFITS' written on top.

What Are the Benefits of Reading Aloud?

Besides the bookish bliss and connections it creates, reading aloud has a host of benefits from both a personal and academic perspective.

Improves Listening Skills

Being able to listen attentively is a skill, and the more you listen, the better you become at it. As we mentioned, being able to listen attentively goes a long way toward helping us grasp more complex narratives.

Expands Vocabulary

Hearing new words in context makes it far easier to add them to your repertoire, and if you want to sound fancy, it is all about vocabulary acquisition and linguistic fluency!

Boosts Confidence

Being able to read aloud confidently is a great boost for anyone, and it is a skill that will definitely be invaluable for your tweens and teens. Mastering the art of reading aloud goes a long way to building confidence, especially when it comes to public speaking.

Fosters a Love for Reading

Perhaps this is one of the most important benefits. Stories are wonderful, and once you get the bookish bug, it’s there for life. One of the best things we can do for anyone is foster a love for reading, as it lays the foundation for continuous learning and curiosity.

Reading Aloud Strategies

Just like anything in life, preparation is key, and the same applies to mastering the art of reading aloud. It takes practice, patience, and a dash of creativity. Let's look at some strategies that will take your reading-aloud sessions to a whole new level!

Pace and Tone

We’re back to thinking of that monotonous AI tone! It's best to think of reading aloud like a piece of fabulous music—the changes in the tempo and tone are what make all the difference. Slow down for those dramatic moments; you want to keep everyone on the edge of their seats! And you can speed up the pace during those action scenes—it's bound to get the adrenaline flowing!

The All-Important Pause

Embrace the pause—they are super powerful. Besides being ever so dramatic, it gives listeners time to process what they have just heard and anticipate what’s likely to follow! Pauses are great for building suspense and highlighting important points.

Engage with Eye Contact

When it comes to reading aloud, eye contact is often underestimated. Making eye contact with your audience is crucial. Besides the fact that making eye contact acknowledges their presence, it makes people feel more involved and valued. After all, this is a shared experience!

Conversation Participation

Reading aloud is not just about listening to the story; you can easily turn passive listening into active engagement through thoughtful questions! So, make sure to ask questions, invite predictions (one of our favorites!), and create a space where everyone can share their ideas and views.

Woman with glasses peeking over an open orange book against a blue background.

Reading Aloud Preparation

Here are some extra ways you can prepare for your next read-aloud session.

Choose Engaging Material

Look for books that you find interesting or bring you joy. Reading aloud from a boring book will be just that—boring! If you are excited about what you are going to read, you are bound to find that your enthusiasm will be contagious!

If you are looking for some inspiration, why not check out our ready-to-ship book boxes? They contain a fabulous novel and our renowned Once Upon a Book Club bookish gifts that will add to your reading experience. Let’s bring books to life together!


We recommend reading the story first before reading aloud. Knowing the story's flow and nuances can help you read more carefully. You may just need to put on your game face for those critical moments!

Atmosphere is Everything

This may sound obvious, but making sure everyone is comfortable will go a long way to ensuring a setting that is conducive to listening!

Use Props and Voices

Don’t be shy when it comes to using different voices for characters—it makes the listening experience so much more fun. Adding props is another way to make the experience more interactive—let your imagination run free!


Like any skill, reading aloud improves with practice. Don’t be overly concerned if you initially stumble—practice makes perfect.


Let’s celebrate D.E.A.R. Day with that timeless practice—drop everything and read aloud! The next great adventure is just waiting to be shared. Happy reading from all of us at Once Upon a Book Club.