There is perhaps nothing as moving and transcendent as having someone read to you something that they truly and utterly love. The atavistic thrill of this activity may (as many atavistic thrills) stem from childhood where a parent, grandparent, or favourite aunt or uncle read to us something that they probably adored when they were young.
Can you remember, the two of you sitting together, cosily reading and probably discussing what you were reading as you went along? Not in any highfaluting way, but just partaking in the experience of feeling alive in the shared consumption of a story or a poem?
In a bid to capture that special feeling as much as possible this year, I am going to be sending lots of emails to lots of people I know and lots of people I don’t know requesting of them very simply: “Read Me Something You Love, Please.”
It could be a short story or a poem, it might even be an excerpt from a novel. The only requirement is that you love this piece of writing with all your heart and soul, and that you’re happy for me to come along to wherever you are (I’m willing to travel), or to join me in London so that we can record you reading, and talking a little about this thing you love.
So here’s the first RMSYL. It’s from Megg Hewlett who co-organizes our group The Short Story Bookclub. The Club meet once a month to read (aloud) a short story that can collectively fall in love with. We also discuss the story and chew the fat in between.
Megg works for The Reader Organization , participating in “bringing about a reading revolution” (I’ve seen her in action, and by golly she’s doing it). She’s also a knitter and a felter (though I like to think of her as a “fiber artist”) + a keen walker.
I wanted a special story and a special person to kick the project off, and I think got both of these from Megg and Darcy Niland.
If you’d like to Read Me Something You Love, please do get in touch (shortstorybookclub AT gmail.com). More info about the practicalities of recording and whatnot can be found on this page of the website.