The Bill of Rights and Readers

We can thank James Madison (3/16/1751-1836), the fourth President of the United States for introducing the Bill of Rights to the First United States Congress in 1789. The bill came into effect in 1791.

The First amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression—freedom of speech, press, and assembly. I don’t think our founding fathers casually made this the first amendment to the Bill of Rights—they knew the importance of these freedoms.

To mark Madison’s contribution of conceiving a list of personal freedoms, I share David Pennac’s Readers Bill of Rights. Next time you pick up a book you are not in love with, know you have permission to put it down. There is nothing wrong with you or the book—it just isn’t the right book for the right person at the right time. Let’s give our children permission not to like every book they meet and concentrate on helping them find books that create appetite for more.

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 to not defend your tastes

What additions might you make to this list?
~ The right to choose your own books?
~ The right to read a magazine or newspaper or blog?
~ The right to read non-fiction


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