Misha's Reviews > Better than Life

Better than Life by Daniel Pennac
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's review
Dec 07, 10

bookshelves: book-club-appeal, france, nonfiction, read-2010, reading

I loved this book. It is such a sweet, thoughtful, unpretentious look at reading. How do we raise readers? How do we destroy a love of reading (or how to parents, teachers and schools do this...)? I just picked up a new translation of this book which is called "The Rights of the Reader" and it looks quite different--curious to try that translation, too. But this one was understated and so beautiful. I want to buy another copy to I can underline passage after passage!

Here is one:

"Dear librarians, guardians of the temple, I'm glad that all the titles in the world have found their pigeon-holes in the perfect organization of your collective memory (for how would I find my way without you, I who have Jell-O for a memory?). It is wondrous indeed that you know where to find all the thtmese you've carefully arranged on the shelves around you. But it would be good, for once, to hear you tell the story of your favorite novels to the visitors who've lost their way in the forest of potential reading. Just as it would be good if you regale them with the memories of your favorite books. Be tellers of tales, be magicians, and the books will jump off your shelves into the readers' waiting hands."

Plus, Pennac's "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 yo not defend your tastes

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