Friday, November 19, 2010

Reader's Bill of Rights

So Chris Crowe introduced me to "The Reader's Bill of Rights," a list generated by Daniel Pennac (I say this like I know who Daniel Pennac is--I don't). I think they're worth contemplating as readers, teachers, AND writers. Discuss amonst yourselves.

Readers have these rights.
1. The right not to read.
2. The right to skip pages.
3. The right not to finish.
4. The right to re-read.
5. The right to read anything.
6. The right to escapism.
7. The right to read anywhere.
8. The right to browse.
9. The right to read out loud.
10. The right not to defend your tastes.

The third right is the one jumping out at me right now. It's hard for me to un-commit after committing to a book. Dude, it's always a MARRIAGE with me and not just some tawdry one night stand. The older I get, however, the more aware I am that life is short and that if you hate a book (or even if you're just bored with it), there's no reason to keep reading. So go ahead. Where books are concerned, feel free to be promiscuous.


Becca said...

And the right for total sickos to read the last few pages, to find out if the best character made it to the end? I'm putting that in the 'skip pages' zone. And I'll defend that right.

I started three books in the past month that I had to put aside. 'It's not you, it's me,' I said. But I didn't mean it.

It was so not me.

Anne said...

Yea for #6!!

Randi said...

The 3rd one jumped out to me too! I used to finish every book even if I didn't like it. Then Twilight came along and fixed that for me. Now I don't finish books if I don't like them, and it feels good!

Tiffany said...

Oh, I needed this list! As I've gotten older, I've become so promiscuous with my reading. There's a shelf of few-chapter-one-evening-stands for sure.

I feel so much better now.

LucindaF said...

I'm a total book tease. I flirt with the first few pages. If I see no future in our relationship, I'm gone.

Commitment issues? Don't get me started.

James said...

Two of my favorite writers, you and Nick Hornby,tell me its ok not to finish, but I refuse to believe it sometimes. I will say, however, that I have read plenty of books that seem to be 50 pages too long.