Readers’ Bill of Rights

In almost every hobby, sport, or activity there are rules and rights that are both written and unwritten. Reading is no different. Recently I read an article that lists out every single right (there could probably even be more) that readers – no matter the age – can practice.

Here are a few of my favorite readers rights:

The right to not finish.

When I was in high school I used to finish just about every single book I started. I felt like a failure if I didn’t finish. I also felt like I owe the author this much to finish his or her novel because they took the time to write it. I would always hold out hope that maybe it will get better at some point, but the ones I just didn’t connect with never did.

Now that i’m older, I have made it a point to not waste my time on books that don’t satisfy my “reading needs”. I read for enjoyment. That means, I don’t want to waste my time reading something I don’t like because there are so many books in the world that I WILL like.

So it’s okay not to finish. Don’t feel bad if you decide to take it back to the library or return it to a friend. Pick up a new book and try again.


Photo CC-By Makunin

The right to read at your own pace.

I’m such a slow reader. Actually, I was probably one of the slowest readers in my class. I remember in high school feeling overwhelmed about the timed ACT reading portion of testing to get into college. I also remember when my teacher would hand out a reading article and have us silently read. It never failed that I was one of the last readers to lift my head up from the pages.

But here’s the thing. We have the right to read where we are comfortable reading. Just because i’m slow doesn’t mean i’m not a good reader, because I am. I enjoy to read slow enough. Reading fast just proves that our generation doesn’t know how to enjoy the little things and SLOW down. Life isn’t a race and neither is reading.

So. Feel free to read at your own pace. It really doesn’t matter if someone reads slower or faster than you… no one is counting your pages.


Photo CC-By Comfreak

The right to read books published for different age levels.

This one is really funny to me. When I was in high school I read a lot of adult fiction novels. Now that i’m in college and 20 years old, I am reading A LOT of young adult literature. So that flip flopped.

But then two days ago something profound happened. I was babysitting and while I was babysitting I saw a stack of Junie B. Jones books sitting on top of the little girls’ dresser. Without even thinking I picked one of them up and started reading. I loved those books in elementary… and I STILL love them.

In the end, as long as you are reading enjoy it. It doesn’t matter what you’re reading as long as you are! Life with books is so much better – trust me.





6 thoughts on “Readers’ Bill of Rights

  1. marharding says:

    Even now it’s hard for me to personally follow these Reader’s Rights, especially when they haven’t been given to me as options before. I’ve been in multiple IEP meetings and “The Right to Read at Your Own Pace” is one that is never followed. Kids are required to read a certain speed and if they don’t reach it, then they’ve failed. I feel like more of these Reader’s Rights should be invoked.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lifewithbooks2017 says:

      Exactly. I remember in Elementary being given timed tests out in the hallway where a teacher counts the words you read per minute. All I can say is during that experience I was just reading the words off of the paper and not even caring what it said.


  2. tmack1295 says:

    This was SO good! I really enjoyed the things you took away from that article. I especially liked the slow down and let yourself read at your own pace part. I feel like I reflect on my reading while I’m reading the book. A lot of people speed through and reflect after they’ve finished, but I can’t possibly be one of those people. I really liked your view on the rights! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lifewithbooks2017 says:

      Yeah! I’m constantly asking questions while I’m reading, which makes it so I am more interested and constantly engaging with the book. The author probably wouldn’t want you to just speed through, but rather spend time with their words. Thanks so much for the kind compliments.


  3. seetheworldinbooks says:

    This is a great post. I loved what you said and had similar experiences – reading more adult books when I was young and now I love YA books too. As for reading at your own pace, my husband reads slow, but I often think he retains more of what he read than the average person. He takes his time. From a learning standpoint, it’s been a huge blessing because he retains what he reads, rather than learning for a test, he learns for life. I also have given myself permission to stop reading books. The one I feel guilty about though is Moby Dick. I just couldn’t do it. But hear it’s amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lifewithbooks2017 says:

      Yeah, I guess I read for the experience rather than to get done quickly. I think everyone has one of “those” books where so many people love it and you just don’t see what all the fuss is about. Obviously, Harry Potter was that for me! Ha! And it’s okay, really, to not like everything. We are all different and that’s what’s really cool about this world! 🙂


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