Written by Leah, staff member, Keshen Goodman Public Library, opens a new window
The power of read-alouds
It has been many years since I have read Anne of Green Gables, opens a new window, and, as I read the book out loud over the last year as part of Halifax Public Libraries' Virtual Library, opens a new window, I was quickly transported back to the White Way of Delight, the Haunted Wood, and the Lake of Shining Waters. There is something so charming about the little red-haired girl and her adventures in Avonlea, and one of the many things that I rediscovered during this time with Anne, is my love of reading aloud.
Many of us grew up being read to by teachers or caregivers, but as we grow older this practice fades and we instead turn to silent, solitary reading. However, the research suggests that reading aloud, and being read to, is a practice that is beneficial throughout adulthood.
From a scientific standpoint, Colin MacLeod, a researcher with the University of Waterloo, suggests that people consistently remember words better if they read them out loud instead of silently. According to MacLeod, this may be because speaking words aloud makes them distinctive and provides an additional foundation for memory (Hardach, "Why you should read this out loud, opens a new window," 2020).
In addition to being scientifically beneficial, reading aloud together provides a way for the reader and listener to bond, to escape to another world together. This simple act provides a gift and a connection that draws people closer in a world that is increasingly more complicated and uncertain. For me, reading together creates a sense of peace and calmness, and makes a shared experience that builds memories for days and years to come.
Whether it is the ornate language that exposes the reader to new words (inculcate, anyone?), or experiencing the adventures that accompany Anne wherever she goes, there is something very special about Anne of Green Gables that makes it a perfect choice to be read aloud.
Although my reading aloud has been done online, I am very thankful to you, new friends, for welcoming me and Anne with an 'e' into your living room each week, and I hope to see you very soon at the Library. "Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world."
Leah's favourite Anne of Green Gables quotes
Now that I have finished a year of reading Anne of Green Gables out loud, I have realized how quotable Anne and her Avonlea friends are. Whether it's expressing the delight of bosom friends, a love of Octobers, or finding sheer joy in the world, there really is an Anne quote for every occasion.
Here are some of my favourite quotes from Anne of Green Gables:
- "People laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas, you've got to use big words to express them, haven't you?"
- "Because when you are imagining, you might as well imagine something worthwhile."
- It's so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable."
- “I love a book that makes me cry.”
- “My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes.”
- "Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it… yet."
- “Life is worth living as long as there's a laugh in it.”
- “The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.”
- “Which would you rather be if you had the choice--divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically good?”
- “But really, Marilla, one can't stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?”
- “We ought always to try to influence others for good.”
- “I can't cheer up — I don't want to cheer up. It's nicer to be miserable!”
- “Oh, don't you see? There must be a limit to the mistakes one person can make, and when I get to the end of them, then I'll be through with them. That's a very comforting thought.”
- “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."
- “How are you going to find out about things if you don't ask questions?”
- “True friends are always together in spirit.”
Although the story may be done, you can relive all of your favourite Anne of Green Gables moments with our complete Storytime video collection on YouTube, here, opens a new window.
Or follow along with Anne on your own by borrowing the book from our collection:
Hardach, S. (2020). "Why you should read this out loud., opens a new window"