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Remember: To Remember, Be Loud

healthy living life

The Benefits of Reading Aloud - This is definitely a side track veering from the Pilates train but it interests me none the less...

I am a quick reader with one effect being that I retain very little of what I consume. Usually the characters’ names disappear soon after I’ve closed the cover and put the book back on the shelf or returned it to the library.

As my mother, also a speedy reader, says, it’s “in one eye and out the other!”

Last night my kiddo and I had a discussion.

They were an avid reader who now for some reason never, ever wants to read a book that I recommend. (I should take it personally but I’m past that since it’s been going on for years and at least I’ve finally learned not to give them books as presents).

Of course that doesn't mean that I don't still always emphatically tell them about the books I know would interest them and why of course they should read them, c'mon, I'm a nag of a mom.

photo by Micky White 

I wonder if it's the actual reading that's now become more of a chore? I have a photo trove of family and friends reading to this kid when they were little, going to the library used to be one of their biggest thrills, and we've spent many an hour together wandering through some amazing used book stores so I know the kid does love books.

The kid loves books.

This probably explains why after I’d been schooled on the uselessness of my book recommendation with the usual “thanks Mama, but you know I won’t read it”, l blurted out, “well how about if I read it aloud to you?”

Imagine my surprise and thrill when my offer was immediately welcomed.

Well, hell, the kid still loves books!

Yippee, I thought, this will be fun, just like old, old, old times (they're in their 20's).

OMG, I thought later after I’d recorded myself reading just the book cover blurb, a few of the celebrity endorsements, and the intro. What have I actually gotten myself into?

I was wiped, but hey, I love the kid and the kid loves books.

It's now dawned on me why listening to a book on tape takes so long - it is seriously time consuming to speak a book versus reading it inside your head. Who knew?

Last night I managed to make it to page 29 of a 300 page book - it was over an hour of recorded content! I mean, blah, blah, freaking blah.

I finally had to stop not only because I was making so many mistakes but even though I joke that I talk for a living as a Pilates Instructor, my throat was super tired and scratchy.

This project's obviously going to take me forever, I mean do the math (or actually, please don’t).

But... do I regret making the offer? Hmm, not really. I’m nothing if not a woman who’s true to her word and I said I would record it.

More importantly it's a chance at connection with the kiddo. (plus a way to actually share the important content of the book)

I love the kid and the kid loves books!


Here’s the curious thing, I found that this morning I remembered more details of the book than I normally would if I was just reading internally to myself.

Why would that be?

Turns out of course, there’s a reason for it.

I’ve just learned about Production Effect which is the increased memory retention of words read aloud versus words read silently.

There’s quite a bit of research out there to support this and some shows the production effect is even greater if you read more loudly, sing the words, or just read out loud to someone else sitting next to you. Hello!

photo by Jason Rosewell 

The increase is presumed because there are more layers of distinctiveness which allow for the greater retention.


This must be why I can still remember some of the poem that I had to recite to my eighth grade teacher (The Cremation of Sam McGee if you’re curious).

This must be why when I tune into Flashback Fridays and listen to music from the 70’s & 80’s I seem to know at least a little bit of pretty much every single dang song.

Now it makes sense why I remember a formula set to the tune of row row row your boat that helped the kiddo (& me) make it through their high school maths class!

So, the reason for this post? Nothing much other than just another way for me to reflect on how really marvellous our bodies (including our brains) are, not only at learning but just in general. Aren’t we so cool??


I’ll catch you later since I’ve gotta go warm up my vocal cords and loudly sing my way through this book - only 271 more pages to go...

My kiddo doesn’t know what they’re in for but at least I’ll be remembering more of the details than ever before.

 Be well (and make some noise 😉 ) x Bec

Links: Read Aloud Day / Research / More Info


The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and Rebecca Forde disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this post


cover & social photo by Giulia May

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