Jeffrey Tucker, How to Read Liturgically.
The problem is the manner in which people read the scripture in liturgy. The instruction books that are published by the major houses warn against reading plainly and solemnly with a steady tone. These manual urge them to bring some personality to the task, to elevate the voice on the important parts, make the reading more life-like and vibrant, and even to make eye contact with the people in the pews. They want long pauses between sentences and for every sentence to come across like a major declaration that sears itself into the ears and minds of the listeners. They try to make the text reach us in a new way.
I hope he does not want the text to reach us in the same old way. He has a point about "bringing some personality". I remember a priest reading the Gospel with a full range of voices. I was only able to confirm the passage (Jn 21:1-19) because I was able to remember the date precisely (4th May 2003, 3rd Sunday of Easter). Otherwise I only remember the tone.
There are examples from the secular world. Consider professional readers for books on tape. They read in the clearest possible way and minimize the amount of vocal inflection that goes into the task. They try to disappear in their personalities so that the text itself can emerge. Also, professionals understand that the reader can naturally get tired of hearing one person talk so the goal is to reduce the personality as much as possible to make it easy for the listening to focus on the text.
Books on tape? He means gramophones surely! Fans of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire universally approved of the readings of the first three books by Roy Dotrice. When the fourth book in the series, A Feast for Crows, had to be narrated by John Lee, because Dotrice was not available, there was a campaign to get Dotrice to re-record it, which eventually succeeded. Dotrice brings a different voice to – it seems – every one of the cast of thousands. The trouble is, it is sometimes the wrong voice. In the latest book he gives an annoying fey Celtic-fringe accent to a princess who in his earlier renderings had been of the RP persuasion – more or less the same fey Celtic-fringe accent as that used by a witch from a north African type race. Rob Inglis, in his narration of The Lord of the Rings, gave non-descript English rural accents to both Merry and Pippin (as did Peter Jackson) despite the fact that both – particularly the latter – are meant to be upper-class. Frodo is the only one to get the RP treatment. On the other hand John Lee's narration of A Feast for Crows was subtler and hence easier to follow. (This brief comment grew like topsy because I have been listening to Tim Curry's overblown narration of A Christmas Carol).
Another hint comes from the history of the lessons in general. Historically, evidence indicates that the lessons were sung and not read -- in keeping with the general observation that the spoken Mass we know it today or before the Council was an invention of the second millennium. The sung Mass was the norm for the first one thousand years. And what happens when you sing? You follow a formula of notes. The notes indicate the sentence structure but do not change based on the content or meaning. The formula permits the content to ascend in importance. The reader himself or herself does not bring his or her own perception of what is important. The reader does not add personality or seek methods to convey some drama to the text. The singing alone prevents that from happening by practically eliminating the tendency of readers to lift and lower the voice based on subjective understanding.
One of the monastic fathers (e.g. Cassian) must have discussed how lectors are meant to read in choir.