Sometime ago, I found someone who was prepared to read to me at night. With a smile, almost wider then my face I accepted, closed my eyes and let that voice take me away to the Lands Unknown.
The stories I've heard, the adventures I've seen, the tastes and the smells I've been exposed to since then, changed the way I look at bedtime reading now.
A special relationship between the reader and the listener starts from the first word the two of them share. One in silence, accepts what the other gives.
The reader does not expect much in return - just time till the novel is over. On the contrary, the listener is a 'taker', always wanting more, always wishing for the story to last those few precious moments longer, quite often sharing a little less then three maybe four sympathetic tears with the protagonist of the story being read.
How easy it is to listen when you truly and utterly enjoy the story? How surprisingly difficult it is to listen to a tale you do not understand or can not evaluate according to your own system of moral values?
To find out those and countless more answers, look into the persona of the reader, trying to influence his choice of literature, culture or even language the story is written in.
To all beginners on the way to self discovery through being read to:
Remember to try and stay unattached to the reader. The agreement between you two has an expiry date, only that it is invisible to you. Prepare for the day, your reader will feel the need to move on and start writing, not just reading. And, yes, writing his story will involve all of his time and attention so do not expect the tiniest bit of mercy nor even a microscopic amount of reading time.
To those prepared to give (read) with nothing in return:
Do not feel that your listener is obliged to comment on the book, the style or the tempo of your reading. They are simply to much into it to speak and can not understand why would they have to feed back on the wonders heard.
Try not to mesmerize the listener by your intonation or subconscious interpretation of the story. They are supposed to judge it them selves, sympathising and referring closely to their own emotions created at the initial point of hearing.
Feel free to walk away any time, with out an explanation. As harsh as this sounds - it really is the easiest option.
Sometimes goodbyes are just pointless. They turn something that was once beautiful into ashes.