The 10 Inalienable Rights of the Reader

The Happiness Project Blog Logo

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
4. The right 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
9. The right to read out loud
10. The right to be silent

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

I recently posted about my new determination “not to finish a book,” and I fully support #3. I love to re-read, so I was happy to see #4. My younger daughter is a big supporter of #9. My husband practices #8.

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

From 2006 through 2014, as she wrote The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, Gretchen chronicled her thoughts, observations, and discoveries on The Happiness Project Blog.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

DISCOVER MORE

Like what you see? Explore more about this topic.

Interested in happiness, habits, and human nature?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter “5 things making me happy”.

Subscribe to Gretchen’s newsletter.

Every Friday, Gretchen Rubin shares 5 things that are making her happier, asks readers and listeners questions, and includes exclusive updates and behind-the-scenes material.