Submitted by swedish_librarian t3_10p6ydb in books

When I read the thread about skipping chapters I started thinking about the 10 Inalienable Rights of the Reader Daniel Pennac formulated in 1992. They´ve probably been posted here befor but I feel every reader should be aware of them.

  1. The right not to read
  2. The right to skip
  3. The right not to finish a book
  4. The right to re-read
  5. The right to read anything
  6. The right to “Bovary-ism”, a textually transmitted disease (the right to mistake a book for real life)
  7. The right to read anywhere
  8. The right to dip in
  9. The right to read out loud
  10. The right to be silent


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Dandibear t1_j6ip5w8 wrote

The right to stare at the same page for ten minutes while distracted


Your_Product_Here t1_j6jn9ln wrote

In public, once my ear zeros in on a stray conversation, I am done for.


CopperSavant t1_j6k03lx wrote

Menus with pictures for me. I can't stop looking and staring.. comprehending nothing and end up ordering two chicken tacos out of blissful panic. Happy cake day.


katietatey t1_j6ku5f0 wrote

Used to be impervious to this as a child. My parents would be in the car calling my name over and over to get my attention and I just wouldn't hear them at all. As an adult, I can't tune out surroundings anymore. Wah!


varda_elentari_913 t1_j6ldfm1 wrote

I'm a teenager, and it's a odd mix of the two for me. Sometimes, I can't hear when I read, and sometimes I can. It really depends on how good the book if for me,


corranhorn57 t1_j6js7br wrote

I would like to replace the right to read out loud with that one.


notbusy t1_j6jvfyr wrote

Oh, if only I could get all those hours of my life back!


sexybackproblems t1_j6kaeg6 wrote

Eh, I'd have spent them less profitably. Maybe that's really what we needed to do in that moment.


PreciousRoi t1_j6kc786 wrote

Its not so much a petit mal seizure, I'm just exercising my rights!


DeborahJeanne1 t1_j6km50v wrote

Or read the same page over again after you fell asleep while reading that page - most likely multiple times.


Ryan_22 t1_j6jclmb wrote

"The right to read out loud." Gotta disagree with this one. It's very easy to think of cases where it's rude or inconsiderate to read out loud. It's like listening to music without headphones on the transit.


Nimelennar t1_j6jnhi6 wrote

I can see this one either way.

I don't think people should be made fun of if they need to read aloud; it's the only way that poetry has any effect on me.

That said, while I agree that people have the right to read anywhere, and the right to read aloud, they don't necessarily have the right to read aloud anywhere.


saga_of_a_star_world t1_j6lagaa wrote

I'm listening to the Prancing Pony podast; they mention the alliteration in LOTR, and how you may not pick up on that if you don't read it out loud.


RJean83 t1_j6kd5pr wrote

I think it is a "you are allowed to on principle, but depends on specifics" sort of right.

No one is allowed to make fun of someone for reading out loud. But you are allowed to ask people to not read out loud in a quiet space or in a way that distracts others.

Just as you have the right to read anywhere, but if you are in the middle of driving, please don't do that for the safety of others. Context is everything here.


DeedTheInky t1_j6mojiz wrote

Yeah for that one I immediately pictured someone reading out loud at full volume in a library, recording it on their phone and then playing it back to themselves (also at full volume) because that's the only way they can read a book somehow, and getting really defensive with anyone who asks them to shut it lol.


SirZacharia t1_j6ls1ea wrote

You could do the same to “the right to read anywhere” middle of a busy street? Maybe not.


lucia-pacciola t1_j6iv9au wrote

The right to their own interpretation of the text.


ElegantVamp t1_j6k6oqh wrote

Ehh I agree to an extent


lucia-pacciola t1_j6k7nsz wrote

Interesting. I tend to think of it in binary terms: Either you're allowed to interpret yourself, or you're not.

To what extent do you think it's allowable?


fetalintherain t1_j6kmgrm wrote

Well I mean, if you're gonna be sharing your perspective with others, it should at least have some merit.

A lot of people want to force their favorite art to agree with their ethics or politics, but they're just wrong


sugabeetus t1_j6kss0c wrote

They have a right to be wrong. Also it's a fun way to ramp up an argument: "It's ok, you're allowed to be wrong."


zappadattic t1_j6lhsgb wrote

Yeah there should at least be an attempt at critical thinking and intellectual honesty.


Bladewing_The_Risen t1_j6k6h0o wrote

To an extent.

We've all read Harry Potter, right? You don't get to say "Harry defeated Voldemort because love always conquers evil!" when the text explicitly says "Harry defeated Voldemort because Voldemort wasn't the true owner of the wand in his hand and the series established in the first book that wands choose their owners and don't work right for just anyone."

It's one thing to have your own interpretation when the text is intentionally vague, but if the text explicitly says something--or very obviously implies something--you don't just get to say, "Well that's what I think, so that's how it is."

That kind of attitude doesn't promote critical thinking or thoughtful analysis of evidence and I don't think it should be encouraged or supported.


lucia-pacciola t1_j6k8pk2 wrote

Saying I think someone has the right to read a text for themselves, and decide for themselves what they think it means, is not the same as saying I think all interpretations are equally valid and correct.

There's also a huge difference between reading comprehension, where you correctly or incorrectly understand the explicit statements of the text, and interpretation, where you reach conclusions about the implicit themes and subtexts of the text.


PreciousRoi t1_j6kdiqh wrote

No, but, the thing is, when you say that you think someone has the right to "read a text for themselves and decide for themselves what they think it means" someone might read that and interpret it AS "all interpretations are equally correct", and then they might go back and cite your statement as a support of their argument. There could be a huge difference between your ability to comprehend and interpret text and when which is appropriate to the needs of the moment at hand...someone else, later, might not. And you didn't even say that much, it was much shorter, just "The right to their own interpretation of the text".

They might just say "I have the right to my own truth, and see, this out-of-context statement completely supports my position". You can't control who is going to read a bare statement of apparent fact, about a "right" and interpret what you said in a different way than you actually meant it if you don't qualify your own statement. The added qualification and your clarification add to the quality of the discussion and 3rd party reader's understanding. It was a bit too simplistic, a bit too concise.


lucia-pacciola t1_j6kfw70 wrote

Sorry, you've gone much farther up your own ass than I care to follow.


Bonezone420 t1_j6kdjnr wrote

You're taking the text far too literally though, and kind of doing the opposite of critical thought. Like, even with a very basic surface level reading of Harry Potter: the main character literally would not be alive without the mysterious power of Love, therefore one can indeed come away with the read that love does indeed conquer evil in the end.


Bladewing_The_Risen t1_j6ku8kq wrote

Bad example; sorry.

Let’s say someone said “Harry defeated Voldemort because Jesus was on his side.”

Sure, they could ramble for hours about how Harry is a Christ figure—or maybe Dumbledore and/or Snape are Christ figures who supported Harry—but at the end of the day, that’s explicitly not what happened. That’s them twisting a narrative to say what they wanted it to say and mean what they wanted it to mean. That’s not valid. That’s like saying “The United States Declaration of Independence says I have the right to own slaves because having other people do my work for me would allow me to pursue my happiness.” Like, sometimes your interpretation is just wrong.


Bonezone420 t1_j6ky0p4 wrote

>Like, sometimes your interpretation is just wrong.

Is it though? If someone can provide examples from the text that the feel supports their interpretation convincingly enough; then how is it wrong? That is the entire purpose of analysis and examination of art. If you disagree you're free to try and argue why that can't be the case; but simply pointing at the text and saying "the text doesn't literally say this" is quite possibly the worst way to go about it - after all, Animal Farm is famously an allegory for the russian revolution; but while it's been a good while since I've read it, I don't think it gets too literal with it. If someone were to talk about their interpretation, would you point to the book and say that since it doesn't literally feature tsarists and communists - that because it's just about animals - their interpretation is wrong and invalid?

What about if I say that Harry Potter is actually about a determinism and how nothing matters and everything is determined at the moment of your birth; and the world merely happens to you?


Unusual-Yak-260 t1_j6lc3z2 wrote

Harry didn't defeat Voldemort. Voldemort killed Harry and his horcrux in the forest. Neville rose up killing Nagini and ran Voldemort through with the sword of Gryffindor in the great hall. That's what happened and you can't convince me otherwise, no matter what the text says.


PrincessJos t1_j6k0csd wrote

Agreed, honestly, once the story/poem/etc is out there, it belongs to the reader in this sense.


escapingdarwin t1_j6kp8qp wrote

I almost failed world literature in college because I stubbornly continued to share MY interpretations of “classic” works on essay exams.


lucia-pacciola t1_j6krch4 wrote

Maybe your professor didn't believe you should be allowed to make your own interpretations, and was marking you down for not mindlessly regurgitating his own opinions back to him.


escapingdarwin t1_j6kskra wrote

That’s exactly what happened and regurgitating the common interpretations of Flaubert was such a hallow victory!


SirBrendantheBold t1_j6l5rhk wrote

My wife says I'm a terrible lay. Actually, it's that the sex she expects is too pedestrian for a savant like me. 😌


pm-me-ur-joy t1_j6ilpr6 wrote

The right to an uncracked book spine, a choice of formats, a night light and freedom from spoilers


ohboop t1_j6ipb1p wrote

I really hate how dismissive people can be of spoilers, especially for old stories. Not just that, people will get annoyed at me, because it's obviously a character flaw of mine for not knowing everything already. I understand, some things have been out for hundreds of years, but I haven't been alive and cognizant of the world for that whole time, or had the time to consume every piece of entertainment people consider essential in this day and age, just let me experience an old fucking story without your stupid ass spoiler.


ArmadilloFour t1_j6jbu32 wrote

I mean, are you complaining about spoilers in 100+ year old novels like Jane Eyre or some shit? I get that having an unspoiled story is nice but if that's the case then you really cannot expect all of society to just stop discussing pretty widely disseminated stories just because you haven't gotten there yet.

(Obvi does not apply to spoiling recent works.)


ohboop t1_j6jhzj6 wrote

>you really cannot expect all of society to just stop discussing pretty widely disseminated stories just because you haven't gotten there yet.

I didn't mention all of society in my comment, so I'm not sure how they all got involved here? I don't enjoy being spoiled in conversation with other individuals, and I also don't like it when people "defend" their spoiling me just because the story is old...I never said I expected anything of anyone, rather stated my preference for not being spoiled, and frustration at people dismissing my feelings about it just because a book is old.


ArmadilloFour t1_j6jj4qr wrote

So wait, are you just talking about having one-on-one convos about The Age of Innocence (or whatever) and having the person you're talking to be the one to go, "Boy wait until you get to the part where..."?

Because if so then yeah, that's a pretty shitty move. I thought you were just broadly complaining about the general statute of limitations for spoiling classic literature.


ohboop t1_j6jldb0 wrote

Yep! I've got pretty good habits for avoiding spoilers "in the wild", my biggest source of spoilers come from people casually mentioning the big twist. My least favorite is when I try to stop people, and they insist on finishing their thought anyways because it's "not a spoiler" in their opinion.

It's hard to convey tone over the internet, but this isn't that big of a deal to me. Even if my friends spoil me, I don't hold on to a grudge or anything, it's more of a funny "how could you" moment.


Misternogo t1_j6kskv9 wrote

They're dismissing your feelings because you're being unreasonable.


mind_the_umlaut t1_j6jdlcz wrote

My reading friends and I agree that there is a 'statute of limitations' on spoilers. I still insist on secrecy for books 100 years old or younger, but many of them are much more relaxed about it. After all, isn't the point of the story HOW they get to the crucial moments? And how their lives are affected afterward?


Merle8888 t1_j6kg7ag wrote

Why the 100 year mark? I presume you haven’t been alive and reading adult literature for 100 years. There are far newer works that have entered the cultural zeitgeist to the point that it’s hard not to be spoiled just by living in the world (think Harry Potter or Twilight). There are far older works that most people don’t know—I doubt the average person on the street could tell you the major plot points or ending of a single work by George Eliot, let alone, say, George Gissing (perhaps my personal favorite Victorian novelist!).


mind_the_umlaut t1_j6lox5v wrote

I'm being hyperbolic here, of course I'd better expect and be peaceful with finding out spoilers for Count of Monte Cristo or David Copperfield. I picked 100 years really randomly and for humor purposes. Everything that hits the public domain is free game for open discussion.


ohboop t1_j6jit0o wrote

>After all, isn't the point of the story HOW they get to the crucial moments?

The point of reading can be whatever people want it to. The point when I read is to be entertained, and I am greatly entertained by subversion of expections, which necessarily goes against being spoiled in most cases.

Luckily for me my friend's ask before starting a conversation with me about literature, so I just ask them not to spoil me and they respect my wishes. If someone takes issue with that...well how weird of them to have strong opinions on me not wanting to be spoiled? Sounds like I'd have a hard time if my friends were like the people on this sub


Character_Vapor t1_j6nd5bb wrote

>The point of reading can be whatever people want it to.

No, it's the how. At least historically speaking. Spoilerphobia is a modern ailment.


PreciousRoi t1_j6ke7p4 wrote

Do you mean like actual spoilers, or shit where society expects you to know how A Tale of Two Cities ends? Or what the plot of 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 is about?


Your_Product_Here t1_j6jnpge wrote

After reading The Count of Monte Cristo, I now fully embrace spine cracking. I'll do it on a novella if you give me the chance.


varda_elentari_913 t1_j6ldue3 wrote

This is probably an evil opinion, but I don't mind spoilers...I actually like them so much I beg for them from the people that recommended the book to me, especially if it's a series and I get scared for the characters. When I read LOTR at seven, I begged my older cousin to tell me if Gandalf came back or not. My anxiety for him was just too bad, lol.


assignaname t1_j6lg2hi wrote

I sometimes HATE that my husband won't give me "spoilers" when I ask -usually tv but same principal for books. It's not spoiling anything. I want to see it happen! I'll still watch/read and enjoy it! But sometimes I want to know what I'm getting into.


varda_elentari_913 t1_j6lgol7 wrote

I don't just ask for people to tell me the entire plot of a book, but if I get anxious about the characters, I want to know what happened to them.


Geetright t1_j6in6b4 wrote

The right to not feel guilty about all the hours invested in reading as opposed to being out with real people lol


icarusrising9 t1_j6jcjkf wrote

Hell dude, forget guilt, you should be proud!


Geetright t1_j6jeb50 wrote

I appreciate that, mate. It's something I struggled with on my 20's and early 30's. I always felt compelled to be out in the world with people, socializing and stuff, but most of the time I really only wanted to be immersed in a good book. Now that I'm married and a little older it doesn't bother me as much. Reading is so much more rewarding than getting drunk or whatever with people. Reading is certainly more challenging on an intellectual level and much more enjoyable!


SonnyCalzone t1_j6k0hvi wrote

If I could exchange some (not all, but some for sure) of those countless hours I squandered during my 20s and 30s with socializing and being on stages with the bands, I would easily do so, especially if it means that I would have enjoyed reading books more often.


Geetright t1_j6k1af0 wrote

Agreed, it's really a quality of life issue and the misconceptions of youth that the quality of life is all about being with other people, doing people things, but that's not necessarily the case... as we find out only by doing those things and experiencing a poorer quality of life. Youth truly is wasted on the young, as they say!


SonnyCalzone t1_j6k4iyd wrote

Well-said. I'm much happier solo than I ever thought possible during my 20s and 30s. It also helps that I have no spouse, no kids, no pets, few distractions and even fewer responsibilities.


Character_Vapor t1_j6ndi8y wrote

>Reading is so much more rewarding than getting drunk or whatever with people

Getting drunk and reading is the best of both worlds. Tucked into a corner with a glass of port and a book in my neighborhood bar on a (non-busy) weeknight? Nothing better.


Maximus361 t1_j6k1gyu wrote

Why would you feel guilty for that? That concept never even crossed my mind and I’m over 50.


Geetright t1_j6k2bly wrote

I'm nearly 50 myself. In my 20's and early 30's for some reason I had this fear that if I wasn't putting myself out there, socializing, being with people that I was wasting my time, or my youth. Obviously, in hindsight, that was an irrational fear based on nothing but my own (usually low) self esteem. Eventually, I met the right woman, now my wife, and realized how stupid that thinking was and am now perfectly comfortable with myself and the things I want to do... namely being a voracious reader. It was just a folly of youth, that's all.


hashtagsugary t1_j6k24bx wrote

So much this, when people ask me what I’m up to and I tell them I’m reading a book and they say “oh, so you’re free?”

Uh… no? I just told you what I was doing.


DeborahJeanne1 t1_j6koa6d wrote

Exactly. Even if it’s Saturday night.

IMO, there’s nothing better than being alone on a Saturday night, in comfy jammies, curled up on the couch as it snows outside, while you immerse yourself in the book of your choice.


GalaxyMosaic t1_j6jvakm wrote

Why is this a necessary discussion? Reading is a low-stakes solo endeavor and the rewards are all internal to the individual. STG people will turn anything into a toxic fandom.


PrincessJos t1_j6k26ii wrote

I think this was posted as a lighthearted list of things that many readers would look at and laugh or smile in recognition that at different times we might want do one or all of these things. As opposed to trying to impose some kind of rules on people or trying to turn reading "into a toxic fandom," which, it seems, you are the only one doing.

The rest of us are just smiling and laughing and having fun with this. :)


DeborahJeanne1 t1_j6kpuu3 wrote

You see, you can’t do that here! You’re guilty of the same thing I did a few days ago, which was responding seriously to a sarcastic comment. My “sin” was not realizing it was meant in jest. As posters mocked me for having it go over my head, I honestly replied “I have no sense of humor.” And that statement has generated plenty of upvotes. You’re already getting downvoted, and my downvotes are still climbing several days later! 🤷🏻‍♀️


moderatelysizedbrain t1_j6mrzky wrote

This is embarrassing


Character_Vapor t1_j6ndrwn wrote

If you ever needed more blatant proof that this sub is not really about reading or literature and more about people's incessant need to validate themselves, this is it.


neuken_inde_keuken t1_j6jd28m wrote

The right to listen to an audiobook


PM_ME_YOURPRIVATEKEY t1_j6kgxoo wrote

The right to say "oh yeah I've read it" when someone wants to talk about a book that I've listened to.


Tokenvoice t1_j6kuwgc wrote

See that’s wrong, you didn’t read it, you listened to it. Now is one method superior to the other, not especially, though most people I know listen while doing something else compared to exclusively reading. But you both got the story and can talk as equals.

In some cases I would even argue that you have to consume the book one way and then consume it the other the second time.

I read the Dresden files first but my mate listened to them. So on my second time round I listened to them while driving and thoroughly enjoyed it. With Dresden Files the audiobooks have became such a part of why they got big as well as creating the world, I mean James Masters has became the voice of Dresden and added to my experience.

But to say that you consumed media one way when you did another is factually wrong, and if you say you read it I will ask what edition of book did you get.


twirlingpink t1_j6l15px wrote

Language evolves. As a reader, you know that. To read something does not only mean to sit down and look at the words.


BigTimmyG t1_j6le0ew wrote

That is LITERALLY what reading means… LITERALLY.


Tokenvoice t1_j6lgd8h wrote

I am unsure what you’re trying to say, are you implying that to consume books in a text based media that we need to have an entomology degree so that we can know the meaning of words?

Or are you saying that words don’t matter? Because that is rather wrong. Words have nuance to them. Landing safely and falling safely both have a common meaning of you made it to the ground unharmed. Yet to land safely means that you were in control, that you were in some way to control your decent. As were fell safely means you had no control. One implies skill the other luck.

You are correct that language evolves, for example the change of the use of the word present to next, but to use that argument to say that two things are the same is an odd thing to do. Notice how I used the word consume instead of reading or listening, the evolution would be to use that, not to say that reading a book is to listen to it.


oldadapter t1_j6n27h6 wrote

Would you object to a blind person who tells you they’ve read a certain book? It’s not that words don’t matter, it’s just the rules of language need a little give so it stays resilient as society changes.


Tokenvoice t1_j6ons95 wrote

No because you read brail, you don’t say I felt a good book the other day. But here’s the fun part you would assume that a blind person who said they read a book would mean it was in brail and not that they listened to an audiobook, which reinforces the point that listening to an audiobook isn’t the same as reading contextually.

And to reiterate my original point because we have moved a wee ways down in the conversation and I don’t want to be mistaken, it doesn’t matter so much how you consumed the book they are all valid for a conversation on the book.


oldadapter t1_j6p1z5i wrote

Sure but I’m just saying that ‘reading’ has this flexibility/broader meaning for only a few contexts, not as standard rule - but braille can also be one of these. If someone can read by touch in that context, there’s no good reason someone can’t also read by listening in another. I agree, in most cases choosing the most clear, unambiguous term is going to be best (especially to make that braille/audiobook distinction) - but if the medium isn’t the important part of the conversation/context - it seems unnecessary to pick someone up for saying something like “oh yes I read that last year too and found it tedious” if they in fact felt or listened to the text.


oldadapter t1_j6lmrn3 wrote

Correct, ‘reading’ now has both meanings.

My friend uses a wheelchair but will sometimes ‘walk’ to work instead of getting the bus. Physically walking, no. But in essence doing the same thing as most people do when they chose to walk to work, and any distinction isn’t necessary or helpful.


k_pineapple7 t1_j6lx4oe wrote

Except it is a VERY important distinction if he literally cannot walk to describe it as "he's walking". Why call it something that it isn't?


oldadapter t1_j6mvdxr wrote

In most contexts yes, it’s important to make the distinction. But not every single one - which is the point on how the meanings of words can expand slightly. This is what my frienddescribes themself as doing, not as some fantasy of physically walking, but because there’s a more general/cultural meaning to the ideas of walking or going on a walk that is still essentially true, and being pedantic about how literally they use the words can sometimes be, at best, pedantic and, at worse, demeaning.

Another example that may be more relatable: If I read a rumor on a text message and then casually relayed that I had “heard” about it to a friend - am I lying or using an acceptable general use of ‘heard’? In casual conversation “read” might imply a more formal source, unless I specify I read in a text exchange with an acquaintance. But these expanded meanings let natural spoken language have these shortcuts built in.


PM_ME_YOURPRIVATEKEY t1_j6kw60s wrote

Then your a pedantic ass. No one cares how you consumed the book, they want to talk about the story you both are familiar with.


Tokenvoice t1_j6le1t0 wrote

You missed the part how I said it doesn’t matter how you consumed it it seems because you came in very hot with arguing my point that you agree with. It doesn’t matter how you consumed the story just that you did.

Words matter otherwise we would be watching movies instead of reading or listening to stories. Its the difference between he landed safely and he fell safely. Shouting vs bellowing, laughing vs giggling vs chortling.


PM_ME_YOURPRIVATEKEY t1_j6lfvtz wrote

So if someone asks me "have you read x" you're saying that you expect me to respond with "oh no, but I have listened to the audiobook." Instead of just saying, "yeah" and getting into the actual conversation? Seems dumb. Whats the functional purpose of differentiating between the two in a conversation?


Tokenvoice t1_j6lh5pq wrote

No I don’t, my mate listens to audiobooks, I read yet quite often he will use the terms he has read. In a conversation it doesn’t matter if you’re replying, does a bit if you’re starting it which you would say hey I have been listening to this book, have you read it.

Though I would say sometimes the distinction is important because you want to talk about a specific facet of either media. Like the illustrations and maps in the book, or the way the person narrating the book pronounces names.


Character_Vapor t1_j6nuiq9 wrote

>So if someone asks me "have you read x" you're saying that you expect me to respond with "oh no, but I have listened to the audiobook.

"I listened to the audiobook" is exactly how I respond, and then we get on with talking about it. Doesn't seem that strange to me.

Anytime you sit down to read a book, you are making a bunch of internalized decisions as a reader: the pace at which you move through the prose, how you imagine each character sounds, the tone and rhythm and inflection (akin to the "performance" of an actor) of how dialogue is delivered, the emphasis (or lack thereof) you give to different elements of the text, etc. This is the interpretive work between a reader and a text that actually constructs the narrative in front of you.

When you listen to an audiobook, you are still of course experiencing that text, but you're handing over the interpretive work of its construction to a third party. You are listening to someone else perform the book, and that person is the one making all of those interpretive choices I described above. This is not inherently inferior or "lesser" a process, but it can lead to fundamentally different outcomes, because there's an additional outside element being brought into a process that would otherwise be pretty insular. I've listened to audiobooks that I've hated, only to then read the book and have the complete opposite reaction. Conversely, I've tried to read books that I couldn't stand, only to then listen to an audiobook and have everything click into place, because the narrator was offering me a way "in" to the book that I couldn't quite find on my own.

These are all interesting and worthwhile things to consider when we're talking about the experience of literature. Clarifying the specifics of each experience is not some sort of value judgement on the so-called "validity" of each format, it's just a way to approach things with more nuance and hopefully generate further discussion.


Character_Vapor t1_j6nsle6 wrote

>Then your a pedantic ass. No one cares how you consumed the book, they want to talk about the story you both are familiar.

It's not pedantry. Clarifying the format will lead to a better discussion, because it's context that can be kept in mind as you discuss your individual responses to a book.


If I listened to an audiobook, and you read it, we are of course on equal footing to talk about the text, but we experienced that text in different ways. I've had discussions with friends about novels where it eventually became clear that the divide in our perceptions of it came down to the fact that one person listened to it (and therefore experienced a third party's performance of the text instead of doing that interpretive work directly), and one person read it themselves, and it affected how each of us responded to it.


PM_ME_YOURPRIVATEKEY t1_j6nss6m wrote

Perhaps the discussion I have with my friends are very different from the discussions you all are having with yours, but for my situation they are functionally identical.


Character_Vapor t1_j6nxwl6 wrote

>but for my situation they are functionally identical.

Good for you, but that doesn't make the people who want more extensive discussion a "pedantic ass" just because they think the distinction is relevant.


PM_ME_YOURPRIVATEKEY t1_j6o4an7 wrote

Agree to disagree. If you see something online or hear about it via a text message do you say "I heard" because then you're wrong by your metric.


Character_Vapor t1_j6o5bfq wrote

Are you seriously comparing the complete experience of a continuous, immersive text like a novel to reading a text message? I've already elaborated in another comment to you why I think the distinction is relevant in terms of the two formats, so I'm not sure why you're trying to flatten down all nuance by equating the entire thing to snippets of text on your phone.


PM_ME_YOURPRIVATEKEY t1_j6o606c wrote

So pedantry it is then.


Character_Vapor t1_j6o7qdm wrote

It's not pedantry to point out that it's possible to have a completely different reaction to a text when you hear someone else read it vs. reading it yourself. I don't make that distinction to shut people down or make a value judgement (I've made that clear multiple times), I make that distinction because it has the potential to give two people even more to talk about when it comes to a given book.

Do you have any interest in actually responding to anything I've said with elaboration of your own, or are you just going to repeat the "pedantry" thing over and over again with zero substantive analysis? It seems like you're just throwing that out because you have a reflexive disinterest toward the idea that anyone would even consider a book in that way, so you respond by just dismissing it entirely as pedantry. It's akin to someone wanting to talk about the way that decanting wine can affect the taste, and you just writing it off as irrelevant and tedious fussiness solely because you've never thought about wine in that way yourself.


ISayISayISay t1_j6iq1mc wrote

number 6 - I'm guessing that means the right to get so immersed in a book that you are, in effect, temporarily "living it". That's OK - but is different from actually mistaking fiction for reality, which isn't really such a good idea.


PrincessJos t1_j6k14o2 wrote

According to my google search Bovary-ism (or Bovarysme) denotes a tendency towards escapist daydreaming in which the dreamer imagines themself to be a hero or heroine in a romance, whilst ignoring the everyday realities of the situation. The eponymous Madame Bovary is an example of this.


offwhiteTara t1_j6jkkmq wrote

I’m confused by # 6 actually. Even though I logically know that Jaws is a work of fiction, it changed my world view as if it had really happened and I was scared to go in the ocean for a while. I got over it, but there is still some memory-like sense I have that sharks are dangerous. I would love to hear what others think this means.


InvisibleSpaceVamp t1_j6iphc8 wrote

The right to a book cover that is just a book cover and not an advertisement ... yeah I know, that ship has sailed ... but still, would be nice.


Marcuse0 t1_j6ir6lb wrote

I know that it's not meant to be taken fully literally, but it does annoy me that everything now is treated as a "right", when rights are limited freedoms which are supposed to be guaranteed by governments. These are more in the class of things people do, which you can't stop them doing.

I'm also not sure what they're supposed to tell a reader in the first place. Are people really crying out for the "right to be silent"?


icarusrising9 t1_j6jcc69 wrote

"...rights are limited freedoms which are supposed to be guaranteed by governments"? I mean, I think Englightenment-era thinkers certainly didn't talk about rights in this way, nor does the US Constitution. Nevermind more recent stuff, like Roosevelt's "second bill of rights".


Amzuja t1_j6jlf1x wrote

They’re correct though. I can’t think of any rights that a government guarantees and/or can’t overrule. We don’t, as a species, have any inherent universal rights. They’re man made ideas, which evolve with time and are changeable as morals change


icarusrising9 t1_j6jqsaz wrote

You're contradicting what they said, and talking about stuff outside the context of Rights Theory. I just meant to point out that rights as "limited freedoms [...] guaranteed by governments" is sort of silly, since the whole point of rights are to push back on perceived violation of those rights.


Merle8888 t1_j6kgsrm wrote

Yeah the whole thing does seem a bit silly to me. Even if we take it as colloquial rights, as in, “stop giving people a hard time for doing this,” I feel like the right to DNF is the only one on the list that anyone would even give a hard time over. I’d probably fill in the rest with stuff about people’s right to have their own opinions and interpretations which may differ from the author’s, etc.


fliponymousredux t1_j6jevel wrote

Number 0: the right to read as fast or as slow as suits you without being told to change.

I can't count the number of times fast readers who are struggling with a book are told to "just slow down". Fast readers, contrary to popular opinion, are not missing nuances or failing to comprehend. Slow readers are not falling behind or spending too long on a book.

A reader is never too fast or too slow; they are reading at precisely the correct speed for themselves.


vivahermione t1_j6k06nm wrote

So much this! As a fast reader, if I slow down, I'm more likely to lose the plot. It's better to stick to my natural reading speed, then reread a specific sentence or paragraph if I need clarification.


varda_elentari_913 t1_j6le4hf wrote

Yeah! My mom and I are both speed readers (like I finished War and Peace in three days) and people always ask if I actually read the book or just skimmed through it. I did read it, I just read really fast.


GaryTheCommander t1_j6mr3s9 wrote

Yes but there is a certainly point where ridicule makes sense. War and Peace in 3 days is just a great way to make sure you don't let anything sink in.


Bananaman932 t1_j6lyke5 wrote

I have a story somewhat related to this because I'm a speed reader.

In my elementary school, I used to read as much as possible. Kindergarten teacher was surprised at how quickly I was reading books but she was extremely supportive so after making sure I knew what the book was about she personally helped me with vocabulary and reading comprehension. I still remember her name to this day and give her credit for why I used to go into school happily (until the dreaded years of high school)

But... 1st grade I had a horrible teacher. I don't know why she had everything against me. Still remember that she made me reread a book 4 times because she didn't believe I knew what I was reading. Didn't even ask me questions to test my reading comprehension (Well she asked one but I got it wrong but she still didn't ask more). >!I have a lot more stories about her but that's for another subreddit.!<

I think this is why some people don't like reading in general. They can get discouraged pretty easily when younger if there's not enough support. I was lucky with loving parents and great teachers but that one year of having a terrible teacher almost made me stop reading for some time.


SoulingMyself t1_j6jrezq wrote

Outside of 5 and 7, none of those need to be said. That's just reading.

6 sounds like something you should see a mental therapist about.


mind_the_umlaut t1_j6jdvzp wrote

Please add, the right to consume books as the reader likes, e-reader, audiobook, on paper, being read to, and whatever other technology comes along to assist readers to consume the books they want!


Bonezone420 t1_j6kd2pl wrote

I would say 7 and 9 are debatable. There are definitely times and places where it isn't appropriate to whip out a book and start reading, or read aloud. I'd say one of them should be replaced with "The right to their own genuine interpretation of the text" and another with maybe "The right to understand" - which is to say that a reader should always have the right to learn the context and content of what they read and anyone who tries to tell them "no it's just a story, turn off your brain and stop thinking about it" is being a huge asshole.


shitskibibble t1_j6kdl5s wrote

Just noting that "The right to harass the author about sequels that may or may not be in progress" is NOT on the list.


jayfader t1_j6l2out wrote

Let’s not forget freedom to sniff a book at any time.


RunDNA t1_j6jhw49 wrote

The right to say you read a book when you listened to the audiobook without getting an "Actually..."


1zzie t1_j6joyea wrote

What about the right not have your reading surveilled? I'd add that to the list. 30 years after 1992, seems kind of important, especially with all the reading tech keeping tabs on you.


Character_Vapor t1_j6nctnq wrote

>the right not to read

Of course this is #1. This sub is almost approaching self-parody at this point.


docharakelso t1_j6j5lk3 wrote

That's a fine list and I'm particularly happy to add Bovary-ism to my lexicon


rachelwanders92 t1_j6p98em wrote

The right to tell people to stop bothering you while you're reading


BobCrosswise t1_j6jyptm wrote

The right to not care at all about anything other than the book itself.


wordyshipmate82 t1_j6kcdu7 wrote

I would like to experience Bovary-ism, for sure.


Geoarbitrage t1_j6ktcax wrote

Be careful with #9 (read out loud), the book discussed (in my Reddit feed) before this is a extremely racist book titled Little Black Sambo.


JustNoNoISaid t1_j6m4x0w wrote

The right to let your nephew tear it to pieces.


Prior-Throat-8017 t1_j6mrvgw wrote

The right to look for the plot of the book before / while reading because you still don't understand what's going on.


Holgrin t1_j6msj7r wrote

Gotta actually say I disagree with number 9. You have to respect people around you, and reading outloud within hearing of others is rude and weird.


ChessTiger t1_j6o9n1a wrote

I have a problem with #1. If you don't read, how can you call yourself a reader?


InigoMontoya757 t1_j6pjap1 wrote

Is #9 really a right? That could be annoying around other people.


warhysterix t1_j6k38kf wrote

It's all cute but what truly matters is IS IT WEIRD.....?


Unusual-Yak-260 t1_j6ldcy7 wrote

The right to "head canon". I know what the text says, but the story happened differently in my head.


BlarpMan t1_j6lwtob wrote

The right to underline, highlight, and dog ear.


anniecet t1_j6ly1tl wrote

The right to barely look at the page and skim over the pages collecting just the most basic of details and forgetting all of the characters names as soon as the last page has been turned!

Yes, I am that person. It takes a lot for a book to really rope me in.


ggchappell t1_j6jsif9 wrote

One important thing about being a reader is understanding the meaning of the words one reads. And it looks like Daniel Pennac -- along with so many others -- might not have understood the word "inalienable".

People think it means that the right cannot be taken from you. That is not what it means. It means the right cannot be contracted away. And I don't like that. By calling the right not to read inalienable, Mr. Pennac is saying that I cannot make an agreement with someone: "I'll read every day if you pay me."

So, sure, they're rights. I'm fine with that. But let's not call them "inalienable".


GFVeggie t1_j6kbli9 wrote

Those are just great.


MegC18 t1_j6je4q2 wrote

The right not to HAVE to skip a bit because some moron editor has chosen italic font for whole chapters and you can’t read it. I gave the offending book (by Tim Weaver) away to someone else and they chucked it as well!