I’m a big fan of Daniel Pennac’s Readers Bill of Rights. As a librarian- but mostly as a reader- it comforts me and has often empowered me to put down a book I wasn’t enjoying. In case you haven’t seen it in a while:
1. The right to not read
2. The right to skip pages
3. The right to not finish
4. The right to reread
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 to not defend your tastes
I often find myself invoking these rights when encouraging reluctant readers. The right to skip pages, the right to browse, the right to reread (and reread and reread) are all tenets that have helped me begin to unite young (often reluctant) readers with books they will enjoy. A few months ago, however, I found myself wanting more. I began positing the creation of a Reluctant Reader’s Bill of Rights. I posted the idea on my personal blog and encouraged visitors to add their own additions. Here’s what we came up with:
The right to read at your own pace.
The right to choose whatever book you want.
The right to read graphic novels and manga.
The right to read magazines.
The right to read non-fiction.
The right to not like a book.
The right to read books published for different age levels
This is a project I still consider a work in progress. I’d love to open up a wider dialogue about reluctant readers and how to best reach out to them. I believe the first step is to inform them of their options and then empower them to make a choice. Please add your own additions and suggestions in the comments!