Readers have rights, too!

Okay, if you haven’t checked out “A Reluctant Reader’s Bill of Rights“…you need to! I don’t know how I want to describe it but I think the word stunning would be suitable.

reading

Photo CC by: torange.us

That might be a little strong for some people but readers are not “some people”. These rights give readers the chance to be free to do what they want with a book, whether they like it or not.

For the last few years, I have been reading a lot of different kinds of books. Some of them I loved and some of them I absolutely hated. Most of them were for classes so normally we would have to talk about them. Everyone would always be so excited to talk about it and I am over there in the corner like “really, how did you like this thing?”. I usually felt out of the loop and sometimes even like a bad reader. I felt that I had to like every book I read. That is definitely not the case! I’m a huge fan of fiction/fantasy and anything that is not that, I get bored very quickly. That is just how my brain works. I’ve had to tell myself many times that it’s okay not to like every single piece of work that I read. These “Bill of Rights” just reassured me on what I already know. It puts my mind at ease and I’m sure it relaxes a lot of other reluctant readers.

These rights talk about more than just having the right to hate a book. Another one of my favorites is the right to not finish. (My picture is of an unending road…make sense?)countryside-404170_960_720 Photo CC by: pixabay.com

I don’t know how many times I feel bad or guilty for not finishing a book but it’s a lot. It feels like I’ve done an injustice or something to the book and all of my fellow readers. Like because I haven’t finished the book I can’t tell anyone how it ended and if it was good or bad. But maybe some books are never meant to be finished. Not because it was bad but because the next person to read it is going to be the one to finish it and delight in all of its glory and beauty. A reader and a book is like a relationship. Picture CC by: pixabay.comheart-20192_960_720

Sometimes you don’t always get to see the end of it but that’s okay because the next person has a chance to enjoy it. (I hope that made sense!)

Basically, these rights give great relief to readers who may not like to read as much as others. Please check them out and add your own right to the list!

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9 thoughts on “Readers have rights, too!

  1. “Not because it was bad but because the next person to read it is going to be the one to finish it and delight in all of its glory and beauty. A reader and a book is like a relationship.” This right here! This is the right I struggle with because it feels unfinished. But you worded this very beautifully! Not all relationships are bad or good they just have to stop sometimes like a reader and a book.. I love this analogy! This is a great post and you did the Reader’s Rights justice!

  2. I absolutely love your post and couldn’t agree more with it! Sometimes, as a reader, you just come across a book that you don’t like at all. This is when the Rights come into play. I really liked when you said “sometimes you don’t always get to see the end of it but that’s okay because the next person has a chance to enjoy it.” Just because I don’t like a book doesn’t mean that someone else won’t love it. Great post! 🙂

  3. So many important points here! It seems to me that college professors (myself included!) throw the reader’s rights out the window when it comes to assigned reading. I wonder how it would be possible to structure a class where there is assigned reading but incorporate the reader’s rights. I’m definitely going to think about that next time I teach a lit course that isn’t for teachers.

    • How would you do that? From what I’ve seen and heard, most kids cannot stand assigned reading. We want them to have rights but do they always have rights when it comes teachers and class? At least the rights that we’re talking about.

  4. It is wonderful how the Reader’s Bill of Rights works for everyone. Even though we have pretty opposite interests, these rights focus on the basic principles of reading. I, too, appreciate the example you provided with not finishing novels that don’t hold interest for you. There is nothing wrong with the book and many others may love to finish it, the book simply didn’t work for you. There are so many options available for us to read, we don’t want to waste our time on books that we don’t enjoy. Move onto the next and continue on!

    • Exactly! The life of a reader is too freakin short!! We need to experience as many options of literature as possible. If a book isn’t good for you, close it, put it back into hiding and move on to the next!

  5. Story of my life! I feel so out of place in class sometimes because I am over in a corner just like you. I loved the Readers’ Bill of Rights as well. I feel like it is very important.

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