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Better than Life

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  2,685 ratings  ·  275 reviews
Anyone who loves to read and wants our young people to develop a similar passion will savor Better than Life - an enchanting, beautifully written, and wise book.--Regie Routman

An essential guide to helping children discover the pleasures of reading!

In Better than Life, Daniel Pennac shares the secrets that all book lovers treasure. Delving into his experiences as a parent,
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Stenhouse Publishers (first published 1992)
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First line: "You can't make someone read. Just as you can't make them fall in love or dream..." First U.S. edition of an eloquent defense of (among other things) the right to dip, skip and flip reading choices---available for many years in the UK, due out on this side of the Pond in November (but there are galleys).

Quentin Blake supplies both illustrations and an introduction. The latter includes a passage I'm still thinking about: "Am I just imagining it, or is there, behind all the tests and t
Se alla domanda 'perché vorresti suggerire ad altri di leggere', come me, non avete idea di cosa rispondere e piazzate un muso similbaccalà leggete Come un romanzo .
E, se alla domanda 'perché a 20 anni, prima di uscire il Sabato sera, stai a casa a divorare nel senso letterale del termine pagine e pagine di lettura' sino ad ora non avevo saputo rispondere concretamente, adesso so rispondere dicendo così Come un romanzo .
Si tratta di un misterioso oggetto blu con scritte gialle, lungo 139 pag
Ne approfitto per regalare un grazie a tutte le mie letture. Non ricordo momenti vuoti nella mia vita da quando ci sono loro con me. Alcune mi hanno fatto innamorare e hanno timbrato il mio cuore, altre mi hanno occupato il tempo in maniera piuttosto piacevole lasciando qualche ricordo, altre sono passate un po' inosservate (mi dispiace, provate con il ragazzo della porta accanto). Tutte, in qualche modo, hanno saputo riempire le mie giornate, e incredibilmente ecco che Anastasia, da seduta, inf ...more
I am thinking of adding this to my children's and young adult literature class. It is such a profound paean to the joys of reading. John's review says it all.

I did add it, and here's something I wrote to my online students:

We need to look at Pennac's words from both sides: reading is indeed one of the most private of activities, but it is also one of the most shared. We take the story the writer gives us and it becomes something else in our heads or hearts or ears, because the tale is filtered t
I love this book.

Some of it is not quite for me. Those parts are about how to help a child or teenager who doesn't like to read. I was never that child or that teenager so I can't guess firsthand if the advice is good.

But I loved those parts anyway, because what this book is also about is simply loving to read. It's about loving to read if you are a child or teenager whose school is more interested in test results than real education, but it's also about loving to read if you aren't.

There are so
With wit, humor and passion, Pennac takes teachers and parents from the early years of a reader’s life through adulthood, mapping out all of the pitfalls the reader may encounter on the road to reading, and arguing that in the end, if our children do not read it is because we, their adults, have robbed them of the enjoyment of it. He develops ten rights that every reader should possess, and expresses the importance of these rules chapter by chapter, with anecdotes and examples. Quentin Blake’s q ...more
This book is a gem. Something that any reader will hold close to their heart. The essays are translated from the original French work by the educator Daniel Pennac. The book is full of amazing quotes. Some of my favorites:

"Time to read is always time stolen. Stolen from what? From the tyranny of living."

"By making time to read, like making time to love, we expand our time for living."

I particularly loved Part 3 - "The Gift of Reading" where he describes a classroom of high school students - the
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Marta Morrison for

THE RIGHTS OF THE READER is translated from French, which Daniel Pennac wrote in 1992. Pennac was an inner-city teacher in Paris. He believes that we need to promote reading for pleasure in order to get our young ones to read.

He relates many stories from his own time spent growing up and teaching. He believes in the power of the story. He thinks that when children are asked to answer comprehension questions when learning to read, all their love of
Una dichiarazione d'amore alla lettura. Mi ha fatto riscoprire la passione, che ogni tanto si assopisce, mi ha fatto venire voglia di leggere ad alta voce, mi ha fatto sentire meno in colpa per aver abbandonato qualche libro o saltato qualche pagina, mi sono sentita meno matta per il fatto di contare le pagine che leggo...mi ha illuminata, anche là dove c'era già luce. Un libro splendido, da leggere, rileggere, far leggere, leggere a qualcuno...un libro da vivere.
I diritti del lettore:

1)Il diritto di non leggere
2)Il diritto di saltare le pagine
3)Il diritto di non finire il libro
4)Il diritto di rileggere
5)Il diritto di leggere qualsiasi cosa
6)Il diritto al bovarismo (malattia testualmente contagiosa)
7)Il diritto di leggere ovunque
8)Il diritto di spizzicare
9)Il diritto di leggere ad alta voce
10)Il diritto di tacere
Duc Hoang
Đọc sách lúc nào cũng mất thời gian cả, mất thời gian để học, để chơi, để làm, để chăm sóc người khác... Nhưng cốt yếu là bạn có chọn tận hưởng niềm vui khi đọc sách hay không?
There are many books that bemoan the fact that so many children don't like to read, and often various remedies. But these approaches so often turn reading into yet another chore (Track your reading ! Write down why you liked or didn't like the book). This book takes the other way around, and starts with the love of stories that all children have. When do they lose it? How do they lose it? And how can they regain it?

This book should be considered as a series of small essays rather than a how-to-
This is a superbly delicious book that delves into the heart of a read and puts it on show for all to see (and read) while also looking out how us bookworms, parents and teachers manage to ruin the reading passions without even realising it. Pennac delves right to the core of the issue and uses his own experiences as reader, parent and teacher to show where things are going a little wrong and how we can all put it right. This is a book for all, readers and non-readers, parents, singletons and th ...more
Que de souvenirs a réveillé ce petit livre ! Premièrement, de moi à sept ans, penchée sur les lignes d’un petit recueil de contes, découvrant soudain la lecture en silence, émerveillée de constater que je lisais ainsi deux fois plus vite. Puis des nuits perdues en lisant en cachette sous le duvet, à la lumière d’une petite veilleuse avec laquelle j’ai failli brûler les draps de ma mère. Ensuite des centaines de pages de Dumas que j’ai avalées, auxquelles j’ai dû tant de bonnes notes en Histoire ...more
This short book is a polemic on the theme, "Young people nowadays don't like to read"? Why not? And even when it's repeated over and over, in our society, that reading is important, when schools insist on infusing books into their students... could that be the problem? Reading as duty; when you're assigned a book, you know you'll be quizzed, expected to demonstrate that you've "comprehended" it.

Comme un roman is Pennac's passionate plea in favor of the pleasure of reading, which, he says, only c
Anastacia Karnauh
Това е велика книга.
Тя просто е такава!

"Хубаво, но от коя част от претовареното си разписание да откъсвам всеки ден по един час за четене? От приятелите? Телевизията? От пътуванията? Или от вечерите в семеен кръг? От домашните?

Откъде време за четене?
Сериозен проблем.
Който не е всъщност никакъв проблем.

Щом някой заговори за време за четене, това значи, че му липсва желание. Защото, строго погледнато, никой никога няма време за четене. Нито малките деца, нито юношите, нито възрастните. Животът не
'Come un romanzo' era solo soletto sul tavolo del bookcrossing assieme a Eva Luna, Marquez, Ken Follett e Calvino e tanti altri grandi autori. Aspettava, tranquillo e fiducioso, che qualche lettore o lettrice avrebbe esclamato: "Sì, eccolo! E' lui che prendo!". Non so quando tempo 'Come un romanzo' sia rimasto sul tavolo, ma so che i miei occhi hanno brillato quando, rapidi, hanno letto il titolo di quel parallelepipedo azzurro e giallo. "Prendo questo!" ho esclamato tutta soddisfatta. Era da te ...more
Just when I was feeling pretty low about teaching in general, Pennac's book reminded me of the passion I have for helping students become the readers they need to be.

This is told in stories, in short essays, all surrounding the need for authentic, passionate reading. He begins with the sadness a parent feels when he realizes that child who used to love stories, and reading, and books is now struggling to read a required book for a report. The agony parents and child feel is something we can all
LH Johnson
Fiery, passionate and beautiful, vividly eloquently so, Pennac's fine book on the rights of the reader should be mandatory. I've read a lot of it before in extracts, or in the very fine poster that's available which features the ten rights of the reader, but I've never read the whole thing. Which is a shame, really, but it's something that I've rectified and I would urge you, if you have any interest in reading or pedagogy or cultural attitudes towards literacy, to not hold off in getting a copy ...more
"Як роман" - це про стосунки між книгою та читачем. Автор, такий собі педагог-дотепник, з легкої руки повертає читача в дитинство. З цієї ретроспективи можна побачити, як закладалась любов до читання (сам Пеннак каже, що "любити" читати - це дещо химерне уявлення про читання). Перша книга, з якою зустрічається дитина, - це дорослий, що розповідає історії: вже тоді дитя є читачем-першовідкривачем. І як важливо супроводити дитину до живого читання, а не просто підвести до холодної і закостенілої д ...more
Courtney Louise
This book was simply brilliant! I just started my book club and this book really opened my eyes and motivated me! I believe any book club leader, English teacher, and parent should read this book and really understand reading.

I randomly picked this book up at the library, not knowing what was in store for me. I read it in less then a day! I am impressed and recommend this book to anyone and everyone!
Aug 22, 2008 Walter rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All who want some one to tell them they are right to be the reader they are
A core book in my life and work, and perhaps the book from which I quote the most. This is a book you will dog-ear, underline, and highlight passages so that you can read them to friends and co-workers. You will buy five copies to give away--I have given away dozens!

Really, if you haven't read this and you are participating in a forum such as this, why on earth not?
This man is a genius.
I don't know what it is about the French, but I am starting to develop an addiction. They challenge and mesmerize me like no other.

This little book will appeal to anyone who loves reading.
Okay, so let kids read out loud and don't make them talk about what they feel so much. I can get behind that.
Vrai, drôle, parfois nostalgique, éveillant, grinçant, pédagogue : génial !!
Virginia Jacobs
This is hands down, my new favorite book, which is saying something because I haven't had a new favorite book since 1996 when I first read The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.

This book is a delightful, whimsical treatise on the love of reading. I read entire chapters aloud to my husband because I could not contain my enthusiasm for this book.

Among the highlights of the book are the following passages:

What we need to understand is that books weren't written so that young people could write essa
Librarians (especially Readers' Advisors) and teachers and booklovers will enjoy this little slip of a book that argues for giving rights (and thus power) back to the reader. With power in their hands, many nonreaders will surprise us all and become avid booklovers. "You can't make someone read. Just as you can't make them fall in love or dream." This is a wondreful quote. And it is true. You can't make them read, you can only give them the tools and whet their appetite but the rest is out of ou ...more
Le seul Pennac qui m'ait attirée jusqu'à présent et certainement le seul que je lirai, mais un véritable coup de coeur aussi! Chaque relecture est un plaisir: le style est incroyablement fluide, ça se lit "comme un roman", un conte ou une belle histoire tout simplement. Je me retrouve souvent surprise d'arriver déjà à la fin, insatiable et impatiente lectrice que je suis.

Outre ses dix "droits imprescriptibles du lecteur" énumérés en 4e de couverture, Pennac y propose aussi un moyen de rendre le
Для меня прожженной дырой в читательском опыте является школьная программа, которую я в основном порываюсь выкинуть/сжечь/ни в коем случае не перечитывать. И правда, наелась, и при любом упоминании меня обуревает яростное сопротивление, будто меня сейчас пошлют ее читать, понимать и высказывать «правильное» мнение. Поход в библиотеку и вопрос «у вас только зарубежная?» заставил повнимательнее вчитаться в Пеннака и ответить для себя на некоторые вопросы, которые раньше не возникали.

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Daniel Pennac (real name Daniel Pennacchioni) is a French writer. He received the Prix Renaudot in 2007 for his essay Chagrin d'école.

After studying in Nice he became a teacher. He began to write for children and then wrote his book series "La Saga Malaussène", that tells the story of Benjamin Malaussène, a scapegoat, and his family in Belleville, Paris.

His writing style can be humorous and imagin
More about Daniel Pennac...
Au bonheur des ogres (Malaussène, #1) La fata carabina (Malaussène, #2) La Petite Marchande de prose (Malaussène, #3) Monsieur Malaussene (Malaussène, #4) Aux fruits de la passion (Malaussène, #6)

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“A well-chosen book saves you from everything, including yourself.” 116 likes
“Time spent reading, like time spent loving, increases our lifetime. ” 103 likes
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