In November 2010, I celebrated my one year anniversary as a volunteer for the Philadelphia Reads Books on Tape Project. In total, I have recorded 15 books for the project.
In the beginning, I had to make multiple attempts at recording the books to make sure I made no mistakes in my reading and that character voices were consistent. Most challenging was trying to do male voices and voices with accents. One year later, it takes me less time to record my books and I don’t sweat the voices because I project a great deal of energy when I read. I like to think that the children who read the book just get into the story, not how I sound, though the quality of the recording is important to me.
The hardest book for me to record was a book entitled “Saying Goodbye to Lulu.” It was a story about a little girl whose dog Lulu dies. The story deals with the lifelong relationship between the girl and her dog Lulu, her grieving process, and her eventual acceptance of a new dog in her life. I cried the first time I read it, and struggled at times to keep myself composed when recording it. I did allow myself to use a sad voice when needed to reflect what the character was feeling.
I have had a wonderful experience with this project and look forward to recording new books in 2011. Being an avid lifelong reader, I enjoy devoting some time each month to record a book for children. I like to think that I am doing my part to foster a community of young readers in Philadelphia who are excited about reading now and will be for the rest of their lives.