To Kill a Mockingbird Reading

Our local Barnes & Noble organized a full day of reading aloud of To Kill a Mockingbird the day before the release of Go Call a Watchman. Each reader read a chapter every half hour sitting in the cafe. The mic was set a a modest level so browsers could hear phrases that would entice them to come and listen for a while. Several of the booksellers read as did community volunteers like writing group members. For my reading of chapter two a gentleman had already settled in, saying he wouldn’t miss a sentence of his favorite book. He planned to stay for the whole day. His love for the book had led him to write a poem about Boo Radley, and he quoted some very skillful lines for me. As I read about Scout’s first day at school, and early coffee buyers lingered–people who had other places to be in the morning–I felt a thrill in the drama of reading aloud to others, spreading the pleasure of story, the creation, the telling, and the listening, a craft ancient and modern.

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