The 10 Inalienable Rights of the Reader Agree, Disagree?

7 tall stacks of books

Back by popular demand: the 10 inalienable rights of the reader.

A thoughtful reader pointed out a wonderful list written by French author Daniel Pennac, in The Rights of the Reader.

As someone who loves to read–practically to the exclusion of everything else–I love this list.

The 10 Inalienable Rights of the Reader

1. The right not to read
2. The right to skip
3. The right not to finish a book — this was a habit I cultivated as part of my research for Better Than Before. Now I have so much more time to read the books I love.
4. The right to re-read—I love to re-read
5. The right to read anything
6. The right to “Bovary-ism,” a textually transmitted disease (the right to mistake a book for real life)
7. The right to read anywhere
8. The right to dip in—my husband got me started on the practice of reading multiple books at once
9. The right to read out loud—my younger daughter reads aloud to me every night, such a wonderful tradition
10. The right to be silent

If you’d like to see the list as illustrated by Quentin Blake, look here.

If you’re interested in more ideas about “Reading Better Than Before,” you can download my one-page list of suggestions here

What do you think  of the list? Anything you’d add—or with which you disagree?



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