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.
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.
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.