There are so many ways to express love. And I have found that expressions of love feel good whether I’m receiving them or passing them out.
Since it is Valentine’s Day week, Sweetheart Al and I have been exchanging all sorts of little loving expressions including greeting cards, hand-written notes, fresh-baked cookies and so on. You are probably doing the same thing with your sweetheart, or your children, or your parents or your good friends.
One of my favorite expressions of love is reading aloud to each other. And Al and I do this all year round.
Every night, before we go to sleep, we read aloud. I love reading to him. And I love hearing him read to me.
And we enjoy sharing the same book … talking about the characters, speculating on what the next chapter will hold.
We started this loving tradition when we were first married. It’s not only fun reading aloud together. It’s also fun choosing the next book that we plan to read.
Yesterday, I added up the books we’ve read since we were married in 2000 and it totals 55. Well, actually, we’re reading our 55th book now.
Here are some of the books we’ve read together: Life is So Good by George Dawson, The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Follow the River by James Alexander Thom, Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott, Hinds Feet in the High Places by Hannah Hurnard, Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Dakota, A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris, The Virtues of Aging by Jimmy Carter, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Illibagiza, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Mrs. Mike, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith, Blink and so on and so on…
Every title I type brings back the book to me, and the fun we had reading it.
Sometimes, we got so choked up at a passage, that we passed the book and let the other one read for a few minutes. Sometimes we laughed so hard at what we were reading that we ended up wiping our eyes on the sheets.
And, now, whenever we visit a bookstore, we look through the fiction, non-fiction, poetry and religious shelves, seeing what we might like to share together next.
If it’s been years since you enjoyed the pleasure of reading aloud, or being read aloud to, may I encourage you during this Valentine’s Day week to give it a try. You might be surprised at how love surrounds you during the simple experience of sharing a good book together.
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