While last week I highlighted the growing trend in companionably but quietly reading together, this week we're reminded of the pleasure of reading out loud!

From 27 January to 4 February it is officially National Storytelling Week aimed at encouraging a love of reading in children.

From our own experience we know how storytelling develops a child's vocabulary, expands their horizons and improves their ability to learn. It can inspire and inform, spark empathy and entertain.

Quite a responsibility if you think about it too much, so the LoveReading website has posted an essay giving some tips on effective storytelling.

The key, though, is your own passion and enthusiasm for a story. Seeing and hearing someone lost in the delight and wonder of a story which is special to them is both powerful and infectious.

But it isn't something just for children to enjoy, is it? 

Last month I mentioned the Icelandic tradition of sharing stories on Christmas Eve. At Jolabokaflod family and friends gather together and listen to each other read out loud.

In the dark nights, candles are lit for storytelling evenings in historic venues celebrating the work of MR James or Dickens.

There are play reading groups, often held in local libraries.

And there are couples who read together in bed at night. I know I have heard about people who do this but can never remember any details! A quick Google search found an American couple prepared to share their experience, though.

Thank you for reading.