Chapter a Day.
July 19, 2009 8:05 PM   Subscribe

There's just something about being read to out loud, even if it's over the radio. Wisconsin Public Radio presents Chapter a Day, in which listeners are treated to daily doses of literature (both fiction and non-fiction). The program presents one book at a time, giving listeners the chance to follow stories from beginning to end over a period of weeks.
posted by teamparka (25 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
The fourth-grade substitute teacher I had read to us from A Wrinkle in Time, a chapter per day. The story unfolded like a flower.

posted by datawrangler at 8:12 PM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

This looks honestly brilliant, but... well, you know. RealAudio (!), and no podcast feed. They're missing out on a significant potential audience, and I'm afraid I will stay part of it.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:17 PM on July 19, 2009

I grew up listening to Chapter A Day. It's really a wonderful show.

Real Audio, however, is the bane of my existence and I loathe it.

I feel like I'm looking at something lovely through the window of a closed shop.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:26 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have wonderful memories of elementary school teachers reading books aloud to the class to help us transition from the high energy of recess back into work mode. I got to hear some of my favorite childhood books (Where the Red Fern Grows, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, The Boxcar Children, and many others) as part of a group, which enhanced the experience. It's just not the same listening alone as an adult.
posted by amyms at 8:33 PM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

I read My Pet Goat to my children before bedtime, if only to warn them about the horror of existence.
posted by twoleftfeet at 8:38 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Hah! My 3rd grade teacher, Miss Kelly, read The Hobbit to us every day. That was my introduction to Tolkein and "grown-up" fantasy literature. I can't thank her enough.

/another happy memory
posted by darkstar at 8:50 PM on July 19, 2009

posted by darkstar at 8:51 PM on July 19, 2009

I used to listen to Chapter a Day on Iowa Public Radio. I worked in a futon shop then, and would always schedule deliveries at 11:00 or 11:30 (whenever it was on) so I could cruise around in the futon van and listen to the nice people read to me. Sometimes, I just went out and sat in the van for a 1/2 hour to listen. Those were good times. Thanks for reminding me of them!
posted by elmer benson at 8:54 PM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

I agree, the Real Audio format (!) is really too bad. A podcast would make this way easier to access. Perhaps some suggestions could be made?
posted by teamparka at 9:02 PM on July 19, 2009

Also, by the way, I agree about there being something good that happens when you can listen to a story in a group of people. I wish that were still something that were available for adults. In libraries, we have storytime for children, but not so much for grownups.
posted by teamparka at 9:08 PM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

I have fallen in love with books on the radio. My local library station, WYPL, has people reading novels and such all day. The 3-4 hour block, when I'm driving home from work, has a program called "Biography," which has treated me to Issacson's biography on Einstein, Caesar: Love of a Colossus, Manhunt: The Search for John Wilkes Booth, and a couple other great ones.
posted by absalom at 9:16 PM on July 19, 2009

My dad read to me before bedtime every night until Freshman year of High School. We went through Tom Sawyer, Little Women, The Scarlett Pimpernel, Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer Abroad, Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and Moby Dick to name a few, chapter by chapter, night by night.

I credit this ritual for my love of books and scintillating vocabulary, both of which led to my pursuing a career in creative fiction.

Last week, I was in the hospital for fevers due to my cancer. Dad picked up the latest book I'd been reading (Jonathan Strange &. Mr. Norrell) and began reading by my bedside. He read for about an hour until I dozed off. When I woke up again, he resumed his task. My dad's great.
posted by litterateur at 9:21 PM on July 19, 2009 [10 favorites]

An old boyfriend were dating from across the country, once upon a time, and I used to call each other and take turns reading chapters of books to each other before bed. Everything from To Kill a Mockingbird to fantasy books like The Homeward Bounders. I used to fall asleep sometimes, too, mid-story. Those evenings were hands-down some of the closest moments I've ever had with another person, even now, removed by time and distance.
posted by teamparka at 9:35 PM on July 19, 2009

(Pardon, he and I used to call each other. Self-editing! Bah!)
posted by teamparka at 9:36 PM on July 19, 2009

It was Mrs. Moore in the third grade that got me interested enough in books to overcome my dyslexia though shear willpower.

If you are into short stories check out Selected Shorts Podcast.
posted by pointilist at 9:39 PM on July 19, 2009

I doubt they'll do a podcast of this as they seem pretty keen to push a cd version of Death in a Prairie House which was featured on the show. I imagine there are licensing issues involved.

Reading aloud is great and should be a part of every childhood.
posted by Horatius at 9:51 PM on July 19, 2009

sometime i find re hating on real audio...if you just pretend it's the 70's and the internet was just introduced to you an hour ago...
hell yeah...
posted by dawson at 9:59 PM on July 19, 2009

See also the many podcasts at LibriVox, which serialize their extensive collection of literature on MP3.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:06 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have trouble with these NPR/BBC audiobook shows, they don't archive them (for very long) so if you don't catch it daily.. but no lack of audiobooks at Internet Archive/LibraVox.
posted by stbalbach at 10:15 PM on July 19, 2009

sorry l33tpolicywonkdidn't refresh before posting.
posted by stbalbach at 10:16 PM on July 19, 2009

CBC's Words At Large site has an archive of chapters of Canadian books read out loud.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:31 AM on July 20, 2009

Ooh, starting today is David (Snow Falling on Cedars) Guterson's The Other, thanks OP! I'm sure I used to use an alternative to RealPlayer - maybe RealAlternative?

For spoken word audio fans: amongst the wealth of programming broadcast by BBC Radio 4 has a daily Afternoon Reading (short stories, serialised novels); Book at Bedtime; Book of the Week; Woman's Hour Drama; plus a weekly Classic Serial; not to mention countless dramas in the Afternoon Play and Saturday Play strands.

Then there's the comedy...
posted by ceri richard at 3:00 AM on July 20, 2009

On Reading Aloud. The classic essay on the subject.
posted by Faze at 4:13 AM on July 20, 2009

I'm pleased to be among so many RealPlayer haters. Some sites won't stream to you if you don't have it installed but this one will. VLC plays .rm files just fine.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:24 AM on July 20, 2009

big fan of today in literature meself...
daily email of literary treats. yum.
posted by trulyscrumptious at 7:28 AM on July 20, 2009

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