The Monster Librarian Presents:
Reading is done for one of two general purposes: information and pleasure. If you are reading horror fiction, it should be for pleasure, as it gives you a chance to escape into a story that should give you goose bumps and raise the hairs on the back of your neck. If you are reading horror fiction for information then it might be time to seek some professional help for your tenuous grip on reality. My philosophy on reading is that not every book is everyone’s cup of tea. If after the first few chapters of the book you aren’t interested in the story then it might be time to put the book down and find another. You shouldn’t feel guilty about putting a book down or not finishing it. It doesn’t matter if that book is on the New York Times bestsellers list or if everyone you know raves about it and thinks it is the best thing on the planet. Your taste in reading is personal. If the book you have isn’t interesting then put it down and find one that is. People who stop reading often do so in their school years because they are made to read through books of little or no interest over which they are then tested. The end result is that reading becomes a chore and something to avoid. Don’t let school push you away from reading a book in which you might be interested. I hope you will find one on the lists of reviews on the site.
The Genre Readers Bill of Rights
- You have the right never to apologize for your reading tastes.
- You have the right to read anything you want.
- You have the right to read anywhere you want… in the bathtub, in the car, in the grocery store, under the porch, or while walking the dog.
- You have the right to read in bed. Under the covers. With a flashlight.
- You have the right to carry books in your baggage at all times.
- You have the right to read in exotic settings.
- You have the right to move your lips when you read.
- You have the right to read the good parts out loud to your nearest and dearest.
- You have the right to refuse to read the good parts out loud to your nearest and dearest.
- You have the right to read and eat at the same time. (This right, however, does not include the right to use food as a bookmark when you are reading library books. Even if it’s the very best potato salad.)
- You have the right to read and make love at the same time. (But– depending on local ordinances and regulations– you may or may not have the right to ask your librarian for suggested books.)
- You have the right to read as many books as you want at the same time.
- You have the right to throw any book on the floor and jump up and down on it (provided that you paid for it first).
- You have the right to ignore the critics at the New York Review of Books.
- More importantly, you have the right to ignore the critics in your immediate family.
- You have the right to stop reading a book whenever you decide it’s not worth the effort, or that you simply don’t like it.
- You have the right to refuse to read any book anyone else picks out for you. Even if it’s a birthday present. (This is associated with your right to refuse to wear any necktie or perfume you receive as a gift.)
- You have the right to skip all the boring parts.
- You have the right to read the last chapter first.
- You have the right to read the last chapter first and then put the book back on the shelf.
- You have the right to refuse to read any book where you don’t like the picture of the author. FINALLY, the Genre Reader’s Miranda Right:
- If you do not have a genre book of your own, a genre book will be provided for you by your public library.
The Genre Reader’s Bill of Rights has been credited to being developed on a listserv by various authors(if anyone has more details about the specific authors please let me know.) I don’t know exactly where the Genre Reader’s Bill of Rights originated. I know a version of the Bill was posted on LM_Net in 10/01/98 and that it contains some elements from Daniel Pennac’s Reader’s Bill of Rights, which appeared in Better Than Life: Books. I know it has been around since at least 1995. I came across it during one of many web wanderings and thought it was fantastic and as the horror genre often doesn’t get much respect in many circles that it was particularly applicable.