World Read Aloud Day Isn't Just For Kids, Listen To 12 Women Reading Aloud From Their Famous Novels

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Audiobooks are gaining huge popularity for good reason: There is something magical about being able to take in a book while you lie down, relax with your eyes closed, and just absorb the words. (Or, you know, clean your bathroom.) You can find new meaning in the cadence and tone of a writer reading his or her own work that you may have missed if you were just reading along in your head. So I think we adults should co-opt World Read Aloud Day from the kids, and we don't have to just be the ones who read aloud, but we can relax and be the listeners, too.

World Read Aloud Day, celebrated every year on the first Wednesday in March, is a holiday that advocates for literacy in all corners of the world. It works to motivate kids and teenagers to read, and enjoy reading, and find power and strength in words on the page. Whether teachers take the the time to read aloud to their classrooms, parents find more time to read bedtime stories, or even famous authors read to schools over Skype (jealous right now), the mission is simple but the results can be vast and empowering.

I say we adults take part in this, too. Take a half hour out of your day today and read from your favorite children's book to your little nieces and nephews, cousins, or to kids you babysit — even if you have to do it via FaceTime or Skype. And sure, you may not be J.K. Rowling, but if you pick an engaging book that you really love, they'll love it, too. And then take the time for yourself to listen to books read aloud. Or have your BFF or boyfriend read aloud to you. (Am I the only one that has found this incredibly swoonworthy, especially since the incredible Dawson's Creek scene when Pacey reads aloud to Joey on his boat?)

If you don't know where to start, here are 12 female authors, from YA to literary fiction to poetry and nonfiction, reading from their own work.

Marilynne Robinson reading from Giliad

92nd Street Y on YouTube

Zadie Smith reading from On Beauty

PEN America on YouTube

Cheryl Strayed reading from Wild

North Cascades Institute on YouTube

Toni Morrison reading from Mercy

knopfgroup on YouTube

Lauren Oliver reading chapter One of Panic

harperteen on YouTube

J.K. Rowling reading chapter one of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Jeff Burden on YouTube

Mary Karr reading her poetry

Speakers.com on YouTube

Flannery O'Connor reading from A Good Man Is Hard to Find

ByWayofBeautyDotCom on YouTube

Sylvia Plath reading from Lady Lazarus

mishima1970 on YouTube

Suzanne Collins reading chapter one of Mockingjay

Scholastic on YouTube

Joan Didion reading from the final chapter of A Year of Magical Thinking

joanologist on YouTube

Anne Sexton reading from Wanting to Die

Noodlehorn on YouTube

Now excuse me, I have a whole lot of listening to do.

Image: Daddy-David/Flickr; Giphy