The Rights of the Reader

No, this is not an academically inclined, 1000-word post from me about civil liberties, DRM, or anything else. It’s a short and cheerful post about a serious topic. And there’s a present!

In 1992 a schoolteacher in Paris named Daniel Pennac published a little book in which he outlined his ideas about how to get youngsters and reluctant readers of all ages to read more. It was translated into English by Sarah Adams and published by Walker Books in 2006, complete with beautiful illustrations by Quentin Blake. For a change, U.S. readers get the short end of the stick, because the U.S. edition (published by Candlewick Press) offers only black-and-white reproductions of the illustrations. For the full color version you have to buy the book from a non-U.S. bookseller (great price and free shipping here). The Rights of the Reader has been favorably reviewed at smaller blogs and major newspapers, and the National Literacy Trust of the UK called it “A refreshing and inspirational book that should never go out of print.” Read a terrific interview with Pennac here.

Walker has generously made available a poster of Blake’s illustration of Pennac’s Ten Rights of the Reader. This is a small version (via); download the full-sized poster from Walker here.

Happy Holiday weekend, everyone!

7 thoughts on “The Rights of the Reader

  1. I have a bookmark with these rights on them and I believe it came out as a poster too, back then. I love Daniel Pennac so much! He had a fantastic series centered around an anti-hero called Benjamin Malaussène, so funny and touching and crazy!

  2. @LaKaribane: I’ll have to look those up, they sound terrific, thanks!

    @Chris: I didn’t realize it, but Sarah Morgan pointed out that Quentin Blake is the same illustrator who did the classic Roald Dahl books. No wonder they looked familiar to me.

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