I am a huge proponent of reading aloud to your children. I've read all the books about why it's such a great idea. I was faithfully read to as a child. In fact, my dad went TDY quite a bit, and often he would read aloud a (long) book onto a tape for my brother and I to listen to each night before we went to bed. So obviously reading aloud was an important part of my childhood, and it's been an important part of childhood for my kids too . . . until this past year.
The honest truth is that after we finished Farmer Boy, I had the best of intentions of starting another book. I even picked out Swiss Family Robinson. And then we just never started. Usually we would read over lunch, but with Anna needing more lunchtime attention, that was hard. And after lunch, well, reading aloud made me verrrrrryyyyy ssslllleeeeeeppppyyyy (yawn). It just wasn't happening.
Then there were a few threads on reading aloud on the Well-Trained Mind board. Several ladies suggested books on tape. Well! I had never even considered using them for anything other than car trips! But I could see that this might be a good temporary solution to my troubles! I immediately went to the library and got out Alice In Wonderland, and we've been listening to a lady with a delightful British accent read as we eat lunch. This means that I can eat my lunch while feeding Anna and still have the benefit of hearing a good story. It's been working out great. I really do enjoy reading aloud, so this isn't going to be the permanent way we do read-alouds, but it is getting us through this physically tiring time for me. And this way I can feel good about reading little books to Caleb and Jonathan in the evening, which has been all the reading aloud I've been getting around to!