My mother is a brilliant reader-alouder. From the time we were tiny she read to us - at the lunch table while I was trying to avoid eating my liverwurst sandwich, in the afternoons down in the den with me hanging upside down off the swing (yes, we had a swing in our den) or trying and failing to stand on my head. She read Francis Hodgson Burnett and Louisa May Alcott, Elizabeth Goudge and Eleanor Farjean. She read when we were driving to Colorado or Kansas to keep my sister and me from murdering each other in the back seat. She just read.
So I read too, to the Children, and have since they were babies. We used to be able to squash up into the couch together while we read A.A. Milne or Dr. Seuss. As the books (and the legs) got longer the children began to sprawl out on the floor or arrange themselves with drawing things, cards or other projects to keep their hands busy. I read them many of the books I was raised on, and added others of my own: Arthur Ransome, Susan Cooper and Philip Pullman. Usually after the book is over there is a general rush to claim it so one Child or another can re-read as quickly as possible. Child 3 won on His Dark Materials and then committed the cardinal sin of losing the book before finishing it (it found it again but things were a bit fraught for a while there!)
So now we're reading The Deathly Hallows. We got through nearly half on Saturday although it meant I had a rather sore throat. Sunday there were too many other commitments already made so we only squeezed in a few chapters, unfortunately leaving all of the final stuff still to come. Child 1 did indeed bring out its project bits and pieces and lay on the floor to listen, forgetting its card house now and then as things heated up in the story. Child 2 perched across the room and did glare at me whenever a particularly beloved character seemed in danger. It also has announced gloomily at every plot turn "XXX is going to die, I just know it. I KNOW it," just so that if the sad event does take place it will be well prepared - and have the consolation of being able to say "I TOLD you so!" Child 3 has punctuated the reading with wild predictions and shouts of "Oh! that's what happened..." and has also bounced into my room multiple times when it was supposed to be face-washing-teeth-brushing to tell me its latest ideas about What Will Happen Next.
Seven books worth of reading aloud; we'll finish this afternoon.
I wonder what we'll read tomorrow.