This is an interesting article in Neuroscience News: How Reading Aloud Can Be an Act of Seduction.
We enjoy reading aloud to children, and I remember the disappointment when my children became early readers and I was no longer a necessary part of the reading experience.
The audible book is an interesting phenomenon, although it may not be the same "shared experience" of reading aloud. Many readers love listening to someone read to them. Although I don't listen to many books because I can read much faster, I like to occasionally sit and listen while I embroider or while doing mundane tasks that take little thought. Not the same as reading to a partner or listening to a partner read, but still the concept of being read to and a slower experience.
Before we had all of the technological means (radio, cinema, television, computers, cell phones) to keep us entertained or informed, reading aloud was a way of sharing stories and news, a kind of communal entertainment.
I think of Captain Kidd in News of the World traveling around Texas frontier towns and reading newspapers to eager audiences and of all the households in the nineteenth century where reading novels aloud provided enjoyment and diversion.
Reading aloud is a skill that few of us practice, at least for any length of time. We are used to speeding through the pages, but there is importance in slowing down. Reading aloud a short passage is very different from reading an entire book. You have to admire those narrators who read novel after novel for audible books.
What are your experiences with reading aloud?