Are you comfortable doing a reading?

Here is a post by Madeleine E. Robins at Book View Cafe: Practice, Practice, Practice: The Art of Reading to an Audience

It caught my eye because I almost never do readings. When I’m filling out a convention survey and checking the little boxes for panels I’m interested in and so on, I firmly check NO under “Are you interested in doing a reading.”

For me it’s not performance anxiety exactly. I am fine with being on a panel or something like that. It is specifically reading out loud that bothers me. I suspect this is not the case for most people because so often people practice reading aloud for years and years as they read to their kids, or maybe to younger siblings. I never had children and my brothers are my age, so yeah, never had that practice.

Anyway, this looks like pretty good practical advice. Also, I will add, when I was up for a reading one time I told Sharon Shinn how uncomfortable I was with it and she gave me very good advice: Go through the selection you plan to read. Read that selection aloud and cross lines out or readjust word choices if it will make the pages sound better when read out loud. I did exactly that, and was surprised how much difference it made.

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2 thoughts on “Are you comfortable doing a reading?”

  1. My 2nd grade teacher used to make fun of me and imply I was stupid because I didn’t like to read out loud. But, now I’ve got my toddler to read to, so I get to do lots of dramatic readings of paper bag princess and the monster at the end of the book and other classics (and heaven help any teacher who tries to make her feel bad for something that innocuous).

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