The Rights of the Reader | Daniel Pennac


I found this little gem of a book tucked away in a sale box. The 10 Rights of the Reader were written on the back cover…and I knew I had to read the rest at once! Quentin Blake supplies both illustrations and an introduction.

Relevant, pertinent quotes appear on every page. Pennac’s enthusiasm for books and reading ooze off every page. The ten rights, are accompanied by brief essays.

1. The right not to read.
2. The right to skip.
3. The right not to finish a book.
4. The right to read it again.
5. The right to read anything.
6. 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 aloud.
10. The right to be quiet.

However, I would like to add a few more rights of the reader….

11. The right to highlight, make notes and dog-ear the pages.
12. The right to inscribe your name on the front page.
13. The right to press flowers between the pages.
14. The right not to lend your favourite books out to other people.
15. The right to rant, rave and write about how much you love (or hate) a book.

I’ll finish off with a few quotes from Daniel Pennac (real name Daniel Pennacchioni)…

  • “A well-chosen book saves you from everything, including yourself.”
  • “When a person we like gives us a book, we look for them at first between the lines – for their tastes, for the reason they thrust it into our hands, for a sign of the bond between us.”
  • “The question isn’t about whether I have time to read or not (time that nobody will ever give me, by the way), but whether I’ll allow myself the pleasure of being a reader.”
  • “By making time to read, like making time to love, we expand our time for living.”

Highly recommended for teachers and parents everywhere.

Happy reading!

This witty, refreshing treatise from a celebrated author and seasoned teacher is a passionate defense of reading — just for the joy of it.

First published in 1992 and even more relevant now, Daniel Pennac’s quirky ode to reading has sold more than a million copies in his native France. Drawing on his experiences as a child, a parent, and an inner-city teacher in Paris, the author reflects on the power of story and reminds us of our right to read anything, anywhere, anytime, so long as we are enjoying ourselves.

In a new translation with a foreword and illustrations by Quentin Blake, here is a guide to reading unlike any other: fresh, sympathetic, and never didactic, it is a work of literature in its own right.

4 thoughts on “The Rights of the Reader | Daniel Pennac

  1. I love Pennac's book Better Than Life where I first saw his Reader's Bill of Rights – is this another book of his?? I must have it! I absolutely adore Quentin Blake's illustrations.


  2. Yes The Rights of the Reader translated by Sarah Adams is available through Walker Books, first published in 1992. I suspect I will be quoting from it often!! I will also look out for Better Than Life – thanks.


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