Weekly Geeks: Readers 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 not to defend your tastes.

—Pennac, Daniel, Better Than Life, Coach House Press, 1996.

For my first Weekly Geeks, I’m actually doing last week’s prompt. (It’s not my fault they haven’t put up a new one for this week. … I think.) Anyway, this is an extremely interesting topic. I had not heard of the Readers Bill of Rights before, and they’re certainly fitting. My focus is #6: The right to escapism.

I love to read (obviously). I enjoy seeing where the books take me, and leaving behind my mundane life in favor of quests, dragons and damsels to be rescued (even if they’re vampires needing rescue from were-unicorns).

The first time I was accused of using books as a means of escapism, I was confused. Was there something wrong with wanting to escape a little? To see yourself doing things only possible through the imagination? Especially considering how harmless books are as a means of escapism, there are worse choices. Even as I started to doubt the good of books and escapism, I could never fully avoid them. (My book loving nature is faintly genetic. My mother reads just about anything, and she’s far less picky than I am.) Working now in a book store part time means I’m constantly in contact with people who have that same appreciation for books as I do. And all the writing workshops and lit classes at school means, there’s no chance of staying away from books ever.

Now I’ve come to appreciate escapism. For some it may be negative, but as life gets busier and people continually demand more and more of me, books are a means of relaxation I wouldn’t give up.

(And the friend who initially started it all can’t say anything. She spends all her spare time watching dramas as her means of escape.)

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About Kim!

Everything can be made better with a good book or some relaxing knits. :D Find me on IG @kimberlyh12 or on Twitter @enervated. View all posts by Kim!

5 responses to “Weekly Geeks: Readers Bill of Rights

  • S E Toon

    1. The right to not read. NO EXCUSE
    2. The right to skip pages. WHY? THEY ARE IN ORDER FOR A REASON
    3. The right to not finish. CAN’t HAVE AN OPINION IF YOU DON’T FINISH
    4. The right to reread. RERUNS THAT DON’T SUCK
    5. The right to read anything. NOT ANYTHING… EVERYTHING
    6. The right to escapism WELL, DUH!
    7. The right to read anywhere. LIVE BY EXAMPLE
    8. The right to browse. SEE #5
    9. The right to read out loud. TO SOMEONE, NOT ON THE BUS, PLEASE
    10. The right not to defend your tastes. SOME LIKE VANILLA, OTHERS CHIPOTLE

  • anneris31

    Escapism is the best therapy. You can pick up a good book, take a little vacation from your problems, and then come back to them later once you’re rejuvinated from the cosmic powers of literature. No harm, no foul, and anyone who says bibliphiles use books as a way to avoid their problems clearly has never experienced the awesome effects of a good one.

  • cassandra

    I like ur Readers Bill of Rights 🙂 I feel the same way
    …but I always feel obligated to finish reading.

    • Kim

      I usually give it to about halfway through the book. If it’s mostly me forcing myself to get to that point, I’m not too sorry to give it up. I always have so many things I want to read that I’d rather not spend time on books that I’m deriving absolutely no enjoyment from. (:

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