Thursday, February 24, 2011

Better Than Life by Daniel Pennac

This is one of my regular and favorite rereads. I love the author's soft spoken passion and enthusiasm for reading books, any books, anytime, anywhere.

Stolen hours. The silent pleasure of reading. The refuge of books, a haven for our innermost selves. In Better Than Life, Daniel Pennac shares the secrets all book lovers know. (from the inside flap)

Time spent reading, like time spent loving, increases our lifetime. If we were to consider love from the point of view of a schedule, who would bother? Who among us has time to fall in love? Yet have you ever seen someone in love not take the time to love? I've never had the time to read. But no one has ever kept me from finishing a novel I loved. The issue is not whether or not I have the time to read (after all, no one will ever give me that time), but whether I will allow myself the joy of being a reader. pg146




The Reader's Bill of Rights
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

Daniel Pennac
Better Than Life

8 comments:

Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I love the Reader's Bill of Rights. My favorite? The right to read anywhere.

oreneta said...

Reader's Bill of Rights...that rules!

Word verification, I kid you not: reade

Sam said...

That Reader's Bill of Rights is fantastic, especially the right to not defend your tastes and the right not to finish.

I am thinking of trying Crime and Punishment again, I think I was just too young the first time. I hope you enjoy Solzhenitsyn if you try anything by him.

Trish said...

The Reader's Bill of Rights is great, isn't it? I think I may have even gasped when I first saw years ago. It gave me all the permission I needed to throw out those restrictive practices that were drilled into me in school - they did nothing but suck the joy out of reading books.

My favorite is #2 The right to skip pages. *horrors*

This author is a guerrilla reader!

And, Sam, do give Crime and Punishment another try and let me know what you think . . .

Susan Bennett said...

I'd add: the right to be considered by the author, not as a receptacle for their thoughts or directives, but as a person who wishes to be entertained, either by story, verse or enchantment. Don't tell me how you think: show me you understand how I feel.

Trish said...

Yes, good point. Authors who 'understand how I feel' are the ones whose books seem to be an extension of my own mind and person. A very tall order indeed. As much as reading is an exploration of others' ideas, thoughts and actions, it's also a sort of coming home to one's self, to what one already knows, isn't it? a confirmation in words that someone else 'gets' you.

beyondthebookmark said...

I just picked this book up from the library and I feel in love with it. I want to promote literacy, but it's hard when our society places reading as a chore or punishment instead of it being a hobby or leisure activity.

Trish said...

It's such a shame schools aren't more relaxed about reading. Books always seem to have to be tested and essayed and researched - why? I would much rather see a wide variety of books read and discussed in class and that's it! Having to regurgitate everything again at exam time just makes me resent the book and hate the process.

Daniel Pennac's book should be required reading for every English teacher, I think. Scratch that. Make it required reading for EVERY teacher, librarian, and parent.