Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Daniel Pennac, Better Than Life.

A gorgeous little book that I cannot recommend highly enough.

It's a book about books. About the joy of reading. About how to encourage others--especially children and students--to read. His idea? Nothing new, or unique. Read. Share your love of reading. And don't force others to read.

I've mentioned, before, his Reader's Bill of Rights. This book spells them out and explains the rationale behind them. Really, all they are is a set of rights that we extend to ourselves that we don't necessarily extend to children. Pennac says we should; he's right.

This is a short, quick read. But you're going to keep coming back to it. You're going to read it more than once. It's that good. And you're going to enjoy it, that much.

Pennac's words, to end with: "The act of reading, when well done, preserves us from everything, including ourselves." (§ 33)