Virtual Read-Alouds. Stack of books next to retro-style microphone.

Virtual Read-Alouds

Settle in—it’s story time! Enjoy a softly read short story, poem, or essay read aloud by an Adult & Teen Services librarian.

The Virtual Read-Aloud program is designed to celebrate classic stories and traditional storytelling. These short form “audiobooks” offer listeners the chance to enjoy a quick, accessible narrative that combines literature with ambient sounds and seasonally-relevant elements. Sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in a narrative that has been carefully selected just for patrons’ pleasure.

A new read-aloud will be published every month on the Adult & Teen Services Vimeo page, so keep an eye out for new titles! Material selected for these read-alouds are in the public domain and are typically sourced from Project Gutenberg, so that listeners can read along if they would like.


Virtual Read-Aloud: The Death Bed, by Waring Cuney.

This month’s reading is full of a solemn, soulful silence.

Waring Cuney (1906 – 1976) was an American poet of the Harlem Renaissance. An under-represented voice in both music and poetry, Cuney’s writing was often inspired by (and even set to) music, with strong rhythmic structures and instrumental themes.

Cuney’s poem “The Death Bed” makes a gentler suggestion of this musical theme, offering a quiet scene of private reflection at the end of the subject’s life.

Want to read along? Click here to read the poem on Project Gutenberg.

Sound effects included in this video were downloaded from Freesound.org and incorporated in accordance with the Creative Commons Attributions License. No copyright infringement and/or commercial usage is intended.

Thank you to the Friends of the Bloomfield Township Public Library for sponsoring the closed captioning of this video.


Want to hear what has been read so far? Enjoy previous months’ Virtual Read-Alouds on Vimeo.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (April 2021)

The Spirit of the Herd by Dallas Lore Sharpe (May 2021)

The Story-Teller by Saki (June 2021)

Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth (July 2021)

Bernice Bobs Her Hair by F. Scott Fitzgerald (August 2021)

The Adventure of the Copper Beeches by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (September 2021)

The Fear by Robert Frost (October 14, 2021)

The Grave-Mound by the Brothers Grimm (October 28, 2021)

The Interlopers by Saki (November 2021)

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost (December 2021)

Goody Blake and Harry Gill by William Wordsworth (January 2022)

The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe (February 2022)

The Bee-Man by Alice Ruth Moore (March 2022)

Araby by James Joyce (April 2022)

In the Spring by Guy de Maupassant (May 2022)

Laura by Saki (June 2022)

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce (July 2022)

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (August 2022)

The Turnip by the Brothers Grimm (September 2022)

The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs (October 2022)

Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street by Herman Melville (November 2022)

Ring Out, Wild Bells by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (December 2022)

The Mark On the Wall by Virginia Woolf (January 2023)

To March by Emily Dickinson (March 2023)

VRA Special Edition: Blooper Reel (April 2023)

A Day In the Country by Anton Chekhov (May 2023)

The Voice In the Night by William Hope Hodgson (June 2023)

Kew Gardens by Virginia Woolf (July 2023)

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer by Walt Whitman (August 2023)

Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti (September 2023)

The Robber Bridegroom by the Brothers Grimm (October 2023)

Persephone by Arthur Stringer (November 2023)

The Oxen by Thomas Hardy (December 2023)

What the Thrush Said by John Keats (January 2024)

The Death Bed by Waring Cuney (February 2024)